OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 557 Water supply

Minimum acceptable requirements respecting water supplies and pumping systems used to fight fires must be met.

Subsection 557(a)

A minimum volume of 100 cubic metres of water must be readily available. This is specified as a “minimum” dedicated water reserve. This supply must always be available for fire fighting.

Subsection 557(b)

The fire fighting water main must be able to distribute water to any part of a mine where a fire could be encountered. Water must be available at sufficient pressure and quantity to support fire fighting. It must not be used for day-to-day operational requirements.

Subsection 557(c)

A standby pumping system must be available whose power supply is not dependent on the main electrical system for the mine. All pumps must be capable of delivering water at an adequate volume and pressure as specified in section 558.

Subsection 557(d)

The main fire fighting water supply systems are not typically located in return airways. This ensures that emergency response personnel will not be exposed to smoke and fumes from fires or explosions. However, in some mines under very cold winter conditions, parts of the fire fighting water main located in an intake can freeze. In circumstances where suitable thermal insulation cannot be provided, or where fan reversal in an emergency is possible, it is acceptable to place the fire fighting water main in the return. At appropriate intervals however supply control valves in the main must be located in the intake airway.