OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 732 Diesel vehicle roads

Subsection 732(1)

The operation of a diesel vehicle in an underground mine introduces hazards that can negatively impact worker safety. Diesel engines produce noxious fumes such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbon particulates, oxides of nitrogen, etc. Diesel engines can also introduce an additional source of ignition if explosive gases are present. For these reasons all diesel equipment must be pre-approved for use underground.

To minimize the hazard introduced by diesel equipment, this subsection requires that all underground roadways over which diesel units travel are tested for air flow and flammable gas on a scheduled basis at locations specified by the mine manager or the Director.

Subsection 732(2)

Repealed.

Subsection 732(3)

Reduced air quantity can lead to insufficient dilution of noxious fumes or flammable gases, thus increasing worker exposure. The tests required under subsection (1) must therefore be done at least weekly and whenever an alteration is made in the air quantity flowing. The mine manager is responsible for making sure that workers meet these requirements.

Subsection 732(4)

If the level of flammable gas in the general body of air exceeds 15 percent (0.75 percent methane) of the LEL for methane gas the LEL limit for methane is 5 percent), the employer must appoint a competent worker to take additional measurements. The objective here is to confirm the accuracy of earlier readings and to identify not only any trend in rising gas levels but also the source and distribution of flammable gas.

Once safe operating conditions or the consistency of measured flammable gas levels are confirmed, the competent worker must submit a written report to the mine manager. Depending on the results of the testing, the mine manager may order modifications to the ventilation system or reduced diesel equipment operations.

Subsection 732(5)

If the percentage of flammable gas continues to exceed 15 percent of the LEL a continuous methane monitoring system must be installed. The continuous monitoring system must then remain in operation for the periods specified in this subsection.

Subsection 732(6)

The gas measurements required under subsection (4) must continue until either they have fallen below 15 percent of the LEL or a continuous monitoring system is installed.