ROMANIAN ASSOCIATION OF MINING AND SURFACE RESCUERS Organization and operation of mine rescuing in Romania Artur George Găman – senior researcher INSEMEX Petrosani ROMANIA
The organization of the rescue operations in the underground mining industry in Romania is regulated by the `` Specific norms for labour protection valid for coal, shales and bituminous sand mines`` - Edition 1997, detailed in 111 articles and 6 annexes in the ``Tehnical prescriptions`` to these norms.
The mine rescue stations provide for the operations carried out in special conditions born as a result of accidents in underground or at surface and which endanger the personnel or the goods and where is necessary to use breathing apparatus because of high concentrations of gases, vapour and toxic or asphyxiant powders above the limits settled by norms.
The staff of the mine rescue stations shall be involved in the operations performed during these accidents where there is hazard of occurrence of gases, vapours and toxic or asphyxiant powders when coming across old mine workings, goafs, or during the control of certain areas with uncertain atmosphere as well during other situations previously settled and approved by the technical leader of the mine unit and until the atmosphere becomes breathable.
The number of active rescuers shall be at least 2%, of the most crowed working shift, but not less than 10 rescuers. It is allowed a supplement with 3-5 active rescuers whether the rescue station has signed a contract for performing of rescue operation for two or several mine units located nearby. The mine, rescuing is organized in rescue stations located at the mine units or at central stations.
1st category mine rescue stations with more than 25 active rescuers employed; • 2nd category mine rescue stations with more than 15 up to 25 active rescuers employed; • 3nd category mine rescue stations with more than 10 up to 15 active rescuers employed;
Central mine rescue stations (organized in mine fields, branches or autonomous companies), the number of their employees being determined by the legal person.
a) the rooms for the apparatus where the closed circuit breathing apparatus, the personal protection apparatus, the control apparatus are stored. All the apparatus shall be stored in glass cases or inside special desks. The temperature of the room shall be between +150C and +22 0C;
b) the room where the personnel of the rescue station learns the theory part; c) the room where the breathing apparatus are repaired, maintained, disinfected and prepared for future operations; here the disinfection apparatus or plant shall have also to be located; d) storage room where the rescue items and the spare parts are stored;
e) the room for charging pumps for oxygen cylinders. From a constructive point of view and considering its location, this room shall have to comply with the `` Technical prescriptions for construction, repairing and use of mobile vessels under pressure`` in force; f) the room where the cylinders loaded with compressed oxygen are stored should be built in accordance with the `` Technical prescriptions for construction, repairing and use of mobile vessels under pressure`` in force;
g) training structures arranged in mine workings or at surface for the training of rescuers. Whether these structures are arranged in rescue stations, they have to re-create the most accurate possible the microclimate and the working conditions in underground occurred during possible damages, but with no overpass of the maximum admitted concentrations of toxic gases.
h) lamp rooms, locker rooms – bath-rooms, toilets, whether these utilities are not provided adequately by the mine units and for the rescuing operations purposes.
The personnel employed by mine rescue stations shall have to be trained and certified to this purpose. Both the training and the certification and the re-training and the re-certification are carried out at INSEMEX Petrosani.
The rescue station shall have: - active and managing personnel; - personnel employed for control, monitoring and coordinating operations (engineers, college engineers) and coming from the mining unit served or from outside; - medical personnel; - auxiliary personnel – certified mecanics employed by the rescue station.
The active rescuers come voluntary from the working staff of the mine unit they may have different jobs (miners, deputy miners, drilling workers, electricians, locksmiths, firemen, foremen, technicians, college engineers, engineers) after they sign an agreement.
For those mine units where is necessary that mechanics for handling the extraction machines, the pumps or the locomotives work with the breathing apparatus donned, the working force of the rescue station shall be at so supplemented with these jobs. Whether the rescue station serves several units, others than of those in the mining field, there can be employed active rescuers with jobs others than the ones stated above. The central rescue stations shall employ only professional rescuers.
a) General conditions: - age between 22-45 (for the active personnel); - to have worked previously for at least 3 years in underground in a properly qualified job (for the active personnel); - to possess a certificate of mine rescuer delivered by the unit which performed the training classes.
b) Health conditions and abilities: - the concerned person shall have to be certified as able-bodied from a medical and psychological point of view. To this end, when being recruited the future rescuers shall be medically checked. This examination shall be repeated during the admittance at the training or re-training classes. The newly recruited rescuers shall have to pass a psychologic examination carried out according to the methodology developed at INSEMEX by certified persons. These examinations shall repeat every one year.
- the rescue team, made of 3-5 active rescuers, their number shall be settled by the head of the rescue station, in relation to the nature and size of rescuing operations. One member of the rescue team shall be the head of the team. When determining the component members of the team the nature and the size of the damage shall be considered. - the rescue group is made of two active rescue teams at least; - the rescue station includes the whole rescuing personnel of mine unit.
- 1ststage covers the initiation and the training. - it lasts 24 working days and includes two parts - the first part is a 8 day initiation. The students behavior during applications is monitored by the trainers and the medical supervisors. After this part ends there follows an examination and the Commission shall decide whether the student can proceed with the training. -a 16 working day training part. The student finishes his/her applied and theoretical knowledge.
-general theoretical training – 5 days; -expert theoretical training – 11 days; -applied training – 8 days.
At the end of this stage, the student shall have to pass an exam during which his/her theoretical and applied knowledge is tested . Whether the result is favourable, the student gets a rescuer certificate which supports his/her employment at the rescue station.
Every 3 years all active rescuers shall have to attend a 12 working day re-training program as it follows: - general theoretical training – 2 days; - expert theoretical training – 6 days; - applied training – 4 days.
The re-training of the engineers and of the medical staff is organized only at INSEMEX Petrosani and meets the re-training program of the staff involved in the control, coordination and monitoring of the rescue operations. At the end of this re-training program, they shall have to pass an examination during which they theoretical and applied knowledge is tested. Whether the validity of the rescuer certificate is overdue with more than 3 months and no re-training has been made, the rescuer is removed from the rescue team of the rescue station.
The 2nd stage involves a refreshment of the theory and exercises to preserve the physical condition. The exercises are done at the rescue station wear the mine units in 4-5 hours each week (with a maximum of 20 hours/month), according to the following program:
- general theoretical training – 4 hours; - expert theoretical training – 4-8 hours; - applied training with the breathing apparatus in operation – 8 hours (of which 2 hours at least spent in the smoke chamber)
- general theoretical training – 2 days; - expert theoretical training – 4 days; - applied training – 4 days.
- general theoretical training – 1 days; - expert theoretical training – 2 days; - applied training – 3 days.
The training and the re-training of the staff involved in the control and monitoring operations ands with a theoretical and applied examination in front of commission made of experts from INSEMEX Petrosani.
- carries out examinations of the area, do measurements, sketches, sampling of material or/and gases items necessary to determine the causes which have led to the occurrence of the damage; - monitors and coordinates the manner in which the operations in the damaged area carried out; - provides technical assistance during rescuing operations.
- one ready-to-use breathing apparatus for each rescuer and a spare breathing apparatus for every five breathing apparatus. - the accessories for each apparatus: - one escape face mask for every three breathing apparatus (for the evacuation of the injured people); - a universal machine for the control of the dose and of the sealing at every ten breathing apparatus, but two minimum;
- an apparatus to check the face masks; - a pulmotor for artificial breathing at every ten breathing apparatus, but two minimum; - an inhaler at every ten breathing machines; - two working pumps used to remove the oxygen from on recipient into another one; - for each apparatus: two 2 liter oxygen spare cylinders, fully loaded; - at least three 40 liter oxygen cylinders, fully loaded;
- an annual supply of 24 filtering cartridges minimum for each rescuer, necessary for training purpose plus a reserve of 60 % of the amount of said cartridges necessary in case of damages; - suitable installations for the disinfection of the breathing apparatus; - the same amount of mobile electric lamps as that of breathing apparatus; they shall be stored in the lamp room (the same as methane testers); - a bag with the first aid kit for each team; - a safety belt;
- methane detectors (for firedamp mines) gas detectors or colourimetric vidals plus anaspiration pump, thermometers, small cases with vidals for air sampling (one piece for each team); - personal protective and working equipment; - woolen blankets (around 15-20 pcs) to help the transportation of the injured people and for a quick sealing of the damaged area; - a stretcher for every five breathing apparatus.
The rescue station shall be located in an accessible place both for personnel of the station and for vehicles; it should have a phone connection with the mine unit and a system for a quick warning of rescuers (siren, telephone, bells, radio, pagers, mobile, etc.)
The maximum age for the active mine rescuers is 45 years old; according to the Romanian legislation this is the age when the miners working in underground retire whether their seniority is 20 years minimum.
- explosions and methane and coal dust • ignitions: 27 % ; - cavings: 32 % ; - underground fires: 14 %; - mine fires: 7 % ; - gas flooding of mine workings: 5 % ; - flooding with water, slime of mine workings: 9 % ; - electro-mechanic failures: 6 %
Of the total amount of explosions and methane and coal dust ignitions: - 45 % were methane ignitions; - 38 % were methane explosions; - 11 % were methane and coal dust explosions; - 3 % were coal dust ignitions. - 3 % were coal dust explosions