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NIOSH Mine Emergency Escape Simulation Technology Available for Developers

Categories: Media, Mining, Technology, Training

Meetfigure1

Figure 1 – Pre-evacuation tutorial on using the available multigas meter.

 Background

All underground coal miners in the United States receive escape training on a quarterly basis. This training prepares them for exiting the mine in the event of an emergency and it must include walking either the primary or the secondary escape route from their work area to the outside (30 CFR, 2015). As a way to both study the mine emergency escape system and to supplement the existing training, NIOSH researchers developed the Mine Emergency Escape Training (or MEET) software. MEET uses a virtual immersive environment to create an underground coal mine escape experience focusing on knowledge of escape procedures while utilizing judgment and decision making skills. While NIOSH uses MEET as a research tool, others can use it in new miner, annual refresher, or emergency response training. MEET is appropriate for underground coal miners at any skill or experience level. NIOSH is offering the MEET software to developers interested in tailoring the training as well as to mine safety and health trainers, safety managers and others who can use it “out-of-the-box” for their training needs.

Respirator Care = Safe to Wear!

Categories: Mining, Personal Protective Equipment, Respirators

Photo courtesy of Draeger

Happy Valentine’s Day! And on this most romantic day of the year, what else could you possibly do than show some love … to your respirator. Last year on this day, we blogged about maintaining your relationship with your Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). To continue to spread the love, this year we want to focus on those mining professionals who work up close and personally with Self-Contained Self-Rescuers (SCSRs). An SCSR is a lifesaving device that miners depend upon in times of emergency to escape from a hazardous environment within the mine. To keep this important device functioning reliably, daily inspections and upkeep become a ‘life or death’ matter. Though you may consider this to be a high-maintenance relationship, it is worth the necessary attention. In the event of an emergency, you need to successfully don and activate your respirator as quickly as possible to escape from danger.

World Cancer Day – Cancer Detectives in the Workplace

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Cancer, Construction, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Manufacturing, Mining, Observances, Transportation

Today is World Cancer Day. Around the world, 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year, and the number is expected to increase due to the growth and aging of the population, as well as reductions in childhood mortality and deaths from infectious diseases in developing countries (ACS 2011). Cancer is the leading cause of death in developed countries and the second leading cause of death in developing countries.

Cancer is a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the spread is not controlled, it can result in death.

The Importance of Occupational Safety and Health: Making for a “Super” Workplace

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Mining, Oil and Gas, Personal Protective Equipment, Sports and Entertainment, Training

Graphic by Stephen R. Leonard

There’s just something about superhero movie summer releases that gets us here at NIOSH excited about safety. This summer the source of our inspiration came from the Man of Steel© movie. In the film, pre-Superman Clark Kent is working as a commercial fisherman (a hazardous job if you’re not a man of steel). He risks exposing his amazing abilities when he swoops in to save the workers on a nearby oil rig who are in great danger as the rig implodes around them.

The scene is reminiscent of Action Comics© issue #3, the original Superman comic book series dating all the way back to 1938. In Action Comics #3, “Superman Battles Death Underground“, (issued 75 years ago this month) Superman is in the right place at the right time to save a coal miner, as well as his rescue crew, from an unsafe mine filled with toxic gas. We see instances such as these riddled throughout comic books and superhero movies. There’s always a hero around to save the day.

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