OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 559 Refuge stations

In the event that exits are blocked or the ventilation system has been disrupted during or following an emergency, a refuge station must be available to underground mine workers as a safe place to wait until rescue teams arrive. Although miners carry self rescuers, (a type of respiratory protective equipment) the air may be lacking in sufficient oxygen to support life. Additionally, the useable life of the self rescuers may not be enough for workers to make it safely back to the surface. The size and number of refuge stations depends on the number of workers expected to use them and the distances workers must travel to reach them.

Refuge stations must have water, supplied air and a system that communicates effectively with the surface. Refuge stations may also contain dried foods and other survival supplies.