OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 705 Diesel fuel

Subsection 705(1)

The characteristics of commercial diesel fuel can vary significantly and emissions from some fuels can have a negative impact on worker health. This subsection specifies that only diesel fuel that meets CGSB Standard CAN/CGSB 3.16-99, Mining Diesel Fuel, can be used in Alberta underground coal mines. The “Specified Limiting Values” provided in the referenced standard are shown in Table 36.1. The Standard should be consulted for additional details.

To reduce the hazard associated with large volumes of stored fuel, the maximum quantity allowed to be stored underground is limited to that required for 24 hours of work unless permission to store more is given by the Director.

Subsection 705(2)

The employer must ensure that appropriate procedures have been developed and workers trained to minimize the spilling of diesel fuel during refuelling operations. Fuelling nozzles should be designed to allow only manual filling by a worker or attendant. Automatic tripping devices are discouraged due to the potential for malfunction, with resulting over pressurization and/or spillage. Where some spillage is inevitable, drip pans or spill collection devices must be used to minimize the fire potential.

Subsection 705(3)

Since empty fuel containers still contain some residual fuel or related fuel fumes, they cannot be allowed to accumulate within the mine. If left to accumulate they could present an additional hazard during a fire emergency. All empty diesel containers must be removed from the mine daily.

Subsection 705(4)

As a precaution against fuel spill accumulation and potential fire, all spilled fuel and oil must be cleaned up immediately. For clean up purposes a supply of non-flammable absorbent material must be available in the fuelling station at all times.

Once used to clean up spills, the absorbent material must be disposed of in a flameproof receptacle. The material must be removed from the mine at intervals of not more than 3 days.

Subsection 705(5)

To reinforce the requirements of subsections 705(1) through 705(4), the employer must post a copy of the subsections in a conspicuous place at the underground fuel station. To ensure that workers comply with these requirements, it is highly recommended that refresher training take place on a periodic basis and that such training be documented. To ensure that the posted copy remains legible, clean copies should be re-posted as necessary.

Table 36.1 Specified limiting values




Test Method



6.4 Flash point, 1 °C


D 93 or
D 3828

(Par. 6.16)

6.5 Kinematic viscosity 2 at 40°C, mm²/s (cST)



D 445

6.6 Distillation
90% recovered, °C 
End point, °C


D 86

Par. 6.17)

6.7 Water and sediment, % by volume


D 1796

(Par. 6.18)

6.8 Acid number


D 974


6.9 Sulphur, 3 % by mass
(par 9.1)


D 1266
D 1552
D 2622
D 4294
D 5453

CAN/CGSB-3.0 No. 16.0
(Par. 6.19)

6.10 Copper strip corrosion, 3h at 50°C

No. 1

D 130

6.11 Carbon residue on 10% bottoms, % by mass


D 4530

6.12 Ash, % by mass


D 482

6.13 Ignition quality, cetane number, 4 (par.9.1)


D 613

(Par. 6.21)

6.14 Electrical conductivity at point, time and temperature of delivery to purchaser, pS/m (par. 7.1)


D 2624

6.15 Density, at 15°C, kg/m³


D 1298
D 4052

(Par. 6.22)

  1. A higher flash point may be specified in special applications.

  2. The SI unit for kinematic viscosity is the square meter per second. The preferred multiple for fluids in this viscosity range is the square millimeter per second which is equivalent to a centistoke (i.e. 1 mm²/s = 1cST).

  3. The sulphur limit may be established by government regulations or as specified by contractual agreement.

  4. Fuel having a higher cetane number may be necessary for some engines. Conditions of operation may also indicate the specification of a higher cetane number.