West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training

Emergency Communications & Tracking

 Date this page was last updated:  10/10/2012

Frequently Asked Questions PDF

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

Initial Communication - Tracking Plan Submittals Notes

Communication - Tracking      Plan Training Notes

Communication - Tracking      Manufacturers’ Approval Documents

Communication - Tracking      Manufacturer Email Contacts

Communication - Tracking     Manufacturers Approval Guidance

Communication - Tracking    Communication and Tracking Library


Report Web Site Corrections: Corrections 

 

Notes:

Documents labeled PDF require Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader to view and download. To download a free version of the current Acrobat Reader, follow the link above.

Documents labeled PPT require Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer to view and download.  To download a free version of the current PowerPoint Viewer, follow the link above.

Documents labeled DOC require Microsoft Word or Microsoft Word Viewer to view and download.  To download a free version of the current Word Viewer, follow the link above.

Documents labeled XLS require Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Excel Viewer to view and download.  To download a free version of the current Word Viewer, follow the link above.

This page contains links to other sites. The State of West Virginia and the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training does not maintain these sites and is not responsible for their content or management. If you would like to report a problem, please call the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training at 304.558.1425.

[MHS&T Homepage [ Publications Page]  [ Frequently Asked Questions]

 

©2007 West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training.  
An official West Virginia State Agency Web site.
Read our Privacy Notice Summary.
   Contact us.