The object of this research project ws to review methods of overcoming the disorientation of underground mine workers following and explosion or servere fire.
Traditional voice communication systems and both active and passive guidance systems have been reviewed. Visits to overseas research establishments, contact with equipment manufacturers in both South Africa and Australia, reviews of the literature and discussions with members of the local coal mining community have all helped in formulating this report. Close liaison with other research groups at Miningtek who have SIMRAC funding for similar work has also helped to fucus this project on important issues.
The results of this project indicate that different strategies may be required for fires and explosions. For example, passive guidance systems such as directionally marked rope or the use of conveyor structure would assist in low visibility associated with a fire, while following a severe explosion the integrity of such systems could not be guaranteed. At present, there is no ideal system available but one commercial system (MOSES) continues to be developed to meet most of the requirements. Further work on directional radio guidance systes is also recommented to provide an alternative system.
The research was completed on time and within the approved budget.