OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 546 Emergency response team

Subsection 546(1)

A well trained emergency response team is required by the OHS Code. The employer must appoint a competent worker as responsible for training the members of the emergency response team.

Subsection 546(2)

The medical fitness and competency of each member of an emergency response team is critical to the team’s performance. In addition to holding a standard first aider certificate, each member must be suitably trained and be physically capable of carrying out very demanding tasks. Members may be required to carry and work with heavy loads, wear breathing apparatus and function effectively in hostile mine environments where visibility could be almost zero due to the presence of smoke or airborne dust.

Section 546(3)

Familiarity gained through regular emergency response practice sessions and worksite tours provides needed confidence among team members and reduces the time taken to rescue workers during a real emergency.

Practice training sessions must take place at least every two months.

Section 546(4)

For emergency response teams to be effective in underground coal mine emergencies, members must be trained and equipped appropriately and there must be a sufficient number of teams. Typically in a mine rescue event at least three teams are required: one in action, one on standby and one resting. At small mines where it may not be practical to maintain three or more teams, it is important to have a minimum number of trained personnel on site. These personnel will provide a first response and assessment capability. They can also guide and instruct other teams in local conditions when these teams arrive at the mine from elsewhere. (See Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia (2003), Section 3.7.)