Release March 20, 2013
ATLANTA –Mine refuge chambers designed and manufactured by Strata Worldwide in Australia were used in Ballarat Gold Mine during a mine emergency on Tuesday, March 19, when a work truck caught fire and trapped 19 miners underground.
While a sprinkler system on the truck helped mitigate the blaze, the miners entered the chambers and remained there until notified that they could safely evacuate the mine. The chambers performed as intended, providing immediate refuge and safe breathable air during the emergency.
Each chamber was equipped with an air conditioning system that effectively regulated the internal temperatures. The chambers were connected to a source of clean, compressed air; however, in one chamber, the standalone carbon dioxide scrubber system was activated to maintain a fresh, breathable environment.
During evacuation, Gavin Hope from the Country Fire Authority stated, "All miners [were] accounted for and they [were] virtually leaving the mine as they would have on a normal day."
“Chambers are an imperative part of a mine safety program and a great insurance policy at a relatively low cost compared to the potential costs associated with employee injuries, downtime and the subsequent investigations that take place following a serious accident,” said Tony Farrugia, General Manager of Strata Safety Products Australia.
Australian guidelines state that chambers are required for use in such crises to protect workers from fires and the toxic gas build-up that results from fires.
STRATA WORLDWIDE is a global leader in the design and manufacture of mine safety products and technologies. These include emergency refuge chambers, proximity detection systems and innovative underground roof support products. In addition, Strata offers a selection of wireless communications and tracking systems for both day-to-day operations and emergency situations. Strata is committed to the design and development of technology that can be used today and is a foundation for improved solutions in the future. Company headquarters are located in Atlanta, Ga. with engineering, service, and sales support facilities throughout the United States. There are offices located around the world to provide customers with local representation and support in the mining regions of the United States, Europe, Australia, South Africa, China, and Mexico.
For more information, please contact Strata Worldwide at (770) 321-2500.