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Coal Mining Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (SOR/90-97)

Regulations are current to 2022-07-13 and last amended on 2021-01-01. Previous Versions

PART IVVentilation (continued)

Ventilation Inspections (continued)

 A qualified person shall, at least once every seven days and whenever any alteration is made in the ventilation system serving a roadway on which a diesel engine is operated

  • (a) measure the quantity of air passing over the roadway;

  • (b) measure the concentration of flammable gas in the air in the roadway, using a methanometer;

  • (c) measure the concentration of flammable gas in the air at the ends of the roadway and at a point 10 m from the downwind end of the diesel engine, using a methanometer;

  • (d) measure the concentration of carbon monoxide in the air at a point 10 m from the downwind end of the diesel engine, using a carbon monoxide detector; and

  • (e) record the measurements referred to in paragraphs (a) to (d) in a book kept for that purpose.

  •  (1) A sample of the undiluted exhaust gas from every diesel engine that is operated underground shall be taken and analysed at least once every month.

  • (2) Where a sample referred to in subsection (1) contains more than 2,000 ppm of carbon monoxide, the diesel engine shall be removed from service underground.

  • (3) The employer shall record the result of each analysis referred to in subsection (1) in a book kept for that purpose.

PART VExplosion and Fire Protection

Flammable Gas Tests

  •  (1) The mine manager shall designate the location and frequency of tests underground for flammable gas in such a manner that dangerous concentrations of gas are detected in time for

    • (a) corrective measures to be taken; and

    • (b) where necessary, employees to be evacuated safely and expeditiously.

  • (2) Where an employee is required under these Regulations to test for flammable gas, the employer shall provide the employee with a methanometer that is capable of testing for flammable gas in layers, cracks, crevices and other locations that are normally beyond arm’s reach.

  • (3) Every employee who tests for flammable gas shall make a record of each test in a book kept for that purpose.

Flammable Gas Exceeding 0.5 Per Cent

  •  (1) Where six consecutive measurements, taken in accordance with the procedures for ventilation surveys referred to in subsection 119(1) at a location underground where electrical machinery or electrical equipment is used, show a concentration of flammable gas that exceeds 0.5 per cent, a methanometer shall be installed at the location.

  • (2) Where an electrical machine or electrical equipment is operated at a longwall face, a methanometer shall be installed at each end of the face and one of those methanometers shall be installed as near to the return brushing face as is practicable.

Flammable Gas Exceeding 0.8 Per Cent

 Where the concentration of flammable gas exceeds 0.8 per cent in a location underground where electrical equipment or a diesel engine is operated or where a source of ignition is present, a test for gas shall be made in that location, using a methanometer, at least once every eight hours for as long as the concentration of flammable gas exceeds 0.8 per cent.

Flammable Gas Exceeding 1.25 Per Cent

 Where the concentration of flammable gas at the return end of a longwall face may exceed 1.25 per cent, the employer shall provide, at appropriate locations, a methanometer that automatically displays a visual indication of the concentration and sounds an audible alarm to warn employees working at or near the longwall face when the concentration exceeds 1.25 per cent.

 Where the concentration of flammable gas in the air in an underground portion of a coal mine exceeds 1.25 per cent, the following procedures shall be followed:

  • (a) during the period in which the concentration exceeds 1.25 per cent, the operation of all diesel engines and of all electrical equipment that is not intrinsically safe, other than electric safety lamps, shall be stopped in that portion of the coal mine; and

  • (b) the employer shall, within seven days, make a written report of that concentration of flammable gas to a safety officer at the district office.

Flammable Gas Exceeding 2 Per Cent

  •  (1) Where the concentration of flammable gas in the air in an area underground exceeds 2 per cent, all persons shall forthwith be evacuated from the area to a place that is ventilated in accordance with subsection 110(1).

  • (2) Where an area has been evacuated in accordance with subsection (1),

    • (a) a warning sign bearing the words “DO NOT ENTER” and “ENTRÉE INTERDITE” shall be posted in a conspicuous place at the entrance to the area; and

    • (b) no person, other than an authorized person, shall enter the evacuated area unless the authorized person has informed the person that it is safe to enter.

Methanometers

  •  (1) Methanometers at the intake and return ends of a longwall face shall be designed to continually

    • (a) measure the concentration of flammable gas in the air;

    • (b) display the concentration of flammable gas; and

    • (c) record the concentration of flammable gas.

  • (2) The record referred to in paragraph (1)(c) shall be displayed

    • (a) where the concentration is recorded remotely, for a period of at least 24 hours after it is made; and

    • (b) in any other case, for a period of at least two hours after it is made.

  • (3) Where remote monitoring of flammable gas is carried out, there shall be a qualified person at the remote monitoring station at all times.

  • (4) The mine manager shall establish and keep at the remote monitoring station procedures to be followed by a qualified person referred to in subsection (3) whenever an audible alarm is sounded.

Dust Reduction Measures

  •  (1) Every area underground shall be kept free from accumulations of coal dust.

  • (2) Dry areas underground in which coal dust is produced shall be systematically wetted down with water.

  • (3) To reduce coal dust underground,

    • (a) where dry coal is cut by a coal-cutting machine, a jet of water shall be directed over the picks of the machine; and

    • (b) mined coal shall be kept wet during handling.

Dusting Procedures

  •  (1) Every roadway underground shall be treated with incombustible dust in such a way that the dust on the floor, roof and sides of the roadway contains

    • (a) where the concentration of flammable gas in the air in the roadway does not exceed 1 per cent, not less than 75 per cent by weight of incombustible dust; and

    • (b) where the concentration of flammable gas in the air in the roadway exceeds 1 per cent, not less than 80 per cent by weight of incombustible dust.

  • (2) Subject to subsection (3), the incombustible dust referred to in subsection (1) shall contain not less than 70 per cent by weight of fine material that is capable, when dry, of passing through a sieve of 200 mesh.

  • (3) Where a larger percentage of incombustible dust than the percentage referred to in subsection (1) is used, the percentage of fine material referred to in subsection (2) may be reduced in proportion to the increase in the amount of incombustible dust, but in no case shall it be less than 25 per cent.

  •  (1) At least once every month, samples of dust shall be taken from the floor, roof and sides along the length of each roadway underground and shall be analysed to determine the percentage of combustible material therein.

  • (2) The employer shall, in respect of the analysis referred to in subsection (1),

    • (a) keep a record of the analysis; and

    • (b) submit a written report of the results of the analysis to a safety officer at the district office before the 15th day of the month following the analysis.

 Not less than 20 bags of incombustible dust, each weighing not less than 25 kg, shall be stored for emergency use within 150 m of each working face in the intake airway and within 40 m of each working face in the return airway.

Explosion Protection Barriers

  •  (1) In each intake airway leading to a working face, a stone-dust barrier or a water barrier shall be placed within 300 m of the working face.

  • (2) A stone-dust barrier referred to in subsection (1) shall hold not less than 100 kg of stone dust per square metre of area of the roadway that it serves.

  • (3) A water barrier referred to in subsection (1) shall contain not less than 200 L of water per square metre of area of the roadway that it serves.

Sources of Ignition

 All electrical equipment that is used underground shall be intrinsically safe or shall be flameproof.

  •  (1) Where an employee uses a locked-flame safety lamp, the employee shall inspect the lamp to determine that it is securely locked and is safe for use underground

    • (a) before the employee takes the lamp underground; and

    • (b) at regular intervals during the employee’s shift underground.

  • (2) An employee who holds a certificate as a mine examiner shall inspect every locked-flame safety lamp before it is taken underground to determine that it is securely locked and is safe for use underground.

 Where a locked-flame safety lamp is damaged underground, the flame shall be extinguished and the lamp shall not be relit underground.

  •  (1) No welding, soldering, brazing or other open-flame or heating work shall be carried out underground or at a location above ground that is within 30 m of a shaft or airway unless

    • (a) the employer has given not less than 24 hours notice of the work to a safety officer at the district office;

    • (b) the air in the area where the work is carried out is tested before and during the work and the concentration of flammable gas in the air is found to be not more than 0.25 per cent;

    • (c) the area that is within 8 m of the location where the work is carried out is cleared of all combustible substances and materials that are not necessary for the operation of the coal mine and is thoroughly wetted down;

    • (d) guards are installed to prevent sparks from escaping from the area where the work is carried out;

    • (e) two portable fire extinguishers that have a rating of 10A:60B:C and that meet the standards set out in National Standard of Canada standard CAN4-S508-M83, Rating and Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishers, dated June 1983, are readily available at the location where the work is carried out; and

    • (f) the work is under the constant supervision of a qualified person.

  • (2) Where welding, soldering, brazing or other open-flame or heating work is carried out underground, an employee who holds a certificate as a mine examiner shall remain in attendance at the location where the work was carried out for a period of 24 hours after the work ceases.

  • (3) All conveyor belts underground shall be so constructed that they are fire-retardant and anti-static.

  • (4) Where practicable, lubricants and hydraulic fluids that are used in machinery underground shall be fire-retardant.

Alcohol and Drugs

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall go or attempt to go underground in a coal mine if the person has in the person’s possession

    • (a) alcohol or drugs; or

    • (b) a match, a cigarette lighter, a cigarette, a pipe, a cigar, tobacco or any other article for use in smoking.

  • (2) Subject to subsection (3), paragraph (1)(a) does not apply to an employee who is in possession of a drug that has been prescribed for the employee by a physician or any other drug the sale of which is authorized under the laws of Canada.

  • (3) No person shall enter a coal mine if the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to such an extent as to constitute a danger to any employee.

  • (4) A warning sign of durable construction shall be posted in a conspicuous place at the lamp house of every coal mine and shall bear the following, in white letters not less that 65 mm high on a red background:

    “No alcohol, drugs, smoking, matches, lighters or other articles for use in smoking” and “Défense de fumer ou d’avoir en sa possession des spiritueux, une drogue, une allumette, un briquet ou un autre article pour fumer

    “Random searches of persons going underground may be carried out for alcohol, drugs and articles for use in smoking.” and “Les personnes qui pénètrent dans la partie souterraine peuvent faire l’objet de fouilles au hasard pour les spiritueux, les drogues et les articles pour fumer.

Random Searches

  •  (1) For the purposes of section 142, the mine manager shall, at random intervals not exceeding one month, cause a search to be made of

    • (a) every person who is not an employee and who is granted access to the underground portion of the coal mine;

    • (b) every employee who is not normally employed underground and who is granted access to the underground portion of the coal mine; and

    • (c) at least 10 per cent of employees who are normally employed underground.

  • (2) Searches referred to in subsection (1) shall be made

    • (a) in the case of a person referred to in paragraph (1)(a) or (b), immediately before the person goes underground; and

    • (b) in the case of an employee referred to in paragraph (1)(c), after the employee leaves the wash house and before the employee goes underground, or at any time when the employee is underground.

  • (3) The mine manager or the underground manager and at least one designated person shall be present to witness any search referred to in subsection (1).

  • (4) A person who is selected as the subject of a search under this section may, instead of being searched by another person, search himself in the presence of the witnesses referred to in subsection (3) and two witnesses of the person’s own choosing.

  • (5) Where a person who has entered a coal mine is found to have in the person’s possession any thing referred to in subsection 142(1), the person shall

    • (a) be instructed to leave the coal mine as soon as this may be done without jeopardizing the safety of others; and

    • (b) immediately follow the instruction referred to in paragraph (a).

  • (6) A complete record of the finding of any thing referred to in subsection 142(1) in the possession of any person shall be made by the mine manager and kept above ground at the coal mine for a period of not less than 10 years after the date of the finding.

Avoidance of Flammable Material

  •  (1) No flammable material shall be used in the construction of any underground room or part of a roadway that houses main engines, main pumps, booster fans, battery chargers or other mechanical equipment or electrical equipment in a coal mine or a portion of a coal mine if the equipment is installed for the period of time during which the coal mine or the portion of the coal mine is in operation.

  • (2) No flammable material shall be used within 15 m of the approaches to an area referred to in subsection (1).

  •  (1) No person shall use flammable material in the construction of any underground engine room, motor room or other room or place in which stationary machinery is operated.

  • (2) No oil, grease, canvas or other flammable material shall be stored underground unless it is stored

    • (a) in a non-flammable container; or

    • (b) at a place 15 m away from where it or any other flammable material is used.

Fire Protection Equipment

 At least one portable fire extinguisher that has a rating of 10A:60B:C and that meets the standards set out in the National Standard of Canada standard CAN4-S508-M83, Rating and Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishers, dated June 1983, shall be provided

  • (a) at every working face; and

  • (b) at every location where an engine or an electric motor is installed or where flammable materials are stored.

 
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