West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training
Emergency Communications & Tracking
Date this page was last updated: 10/10/2012
|Frequently Asked Questions|
West Virginia was the first state to require communications and tracking in underground coal mines to aid in the escape and rescue of miners. The process began with the passage of WV Senate Bill 247 in January of 2006.
After defining the performance requirements for integrated communication and tracking the Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training began the review and approval of manufacturers. Each approved manufacturer is also required to obtain an electrical safety approval from MSHA to insure the product can be used in the event of ventilation failure (potentially explosive environments).
Because the concept was new to operators, manufactures and State Inspectors, the OMHS&T conducted training and provided individual assistance in development of communication-tracking plans. The first round of plan submittals included many well thought through approaches and creative solutions but none captured all the elements necessary to fully utilize all communication sub-systems in a manner that maximized survivability
Operators submitted a second round of communication-tracking plans on September 21, 2007 followed by individual review sessions held at the OMHS&T regional offices.
After each review those plans not recommended for approval were provided a listing of required modifications in a letter from the regional Inspector at Large that were due to the regional office within 15 days.
Those approved were sent notifications and as modifications are reviewed by regional staff the remainder will be notified. Once notified of an approval, the operator must provide purchase orders or other documents indicating the order date, delivery date, an operational date for all components needed to complete their plan.
As these documents are determined to be acceptable by the Regional OMHS&T office, the operational date becomes the enforceable compliance date for that mine.
The following links provide additional information:
Revised Communication - Tracking Plan Submittal Notes
Report Web Site Corrections: Corrections
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