OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 726 Stopping fan

Subsection 726(1)

Because the air ventilation system is the most critical component of the mine’s safety system, it must not be modified in any manner without the consent of the senior mine official. This subsection specifically prohibits a worker from stopping any fan without that express consent.

Subsection 726(2)

Any significant change in ventilation or the stopping of a fan requires that workers be withdrawn to a location having adequate fresh air. The employer must ensure that procedures are in place and understood by all mine workers so that no worker returns to the affected area until the area is checked to confirm it is safe.

This subsection lists the conditions under which a worker can return to the affected area. Of particular note is the requirement that a mine official must examine the affected area and declare it safe by recording his or her findings and posting a notice in a conspicuous location that is used by the mine workers.

Subsection 726(3)

Since the mine official must perform the mandatory safety checks and examinations prior to allowing workers to return to the affected area, the conditions of subsection (2) do not apply to that mine official.