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RR603 - Evaluating methods of training of mineworkers for hot inspired air when wearing self-rescuers

HSE defined a need for an improved training methodology for escape respiratory protective devices, essentially to provide a realistic experience of the hot air breathing effects of a device operating in a high carbon monoxide content mine atmosphere. Information was also sought by HSE on the tolerability and ultimately endurance limits associated with the extended wearing of an escape respiratory protective device producing a significant heat burden. This information would collectively help address HSE’s duty to offer advice to mine managers on escape respiratory protective systems selection and use, including where escape will entail conditions of high heat and humidity. The research work was addressed in two phases; involving (i) thermo-chemical modelling of filter self-rescuers and the development of a hot air simulation device, suitable for both research and training purposes, and (ii) a range of physiological trials which identified significant thermal physiological benefits from adopting a staged evacuation process in conjunction with safe havens.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2011-02-10