Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Review of self rescuer units ordered by Governor Fletcher completed
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 2, 2006) - A review of Self-Contained Self Rescuer (SCSR) units by the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing (OMSL) resulted in 134 of the devices worn by miners being found defective and removed from service.
Governor Ernie Fletcher ordered OMSL to inspect the units and conduct safety meetings with miners to review the use and proper care of SCSRs following the Kentucky Darby LLC mine accident May 20.
"Thousands of Kentuckians enter coal mines every day and they should have the confidence that the unit strapped to their belt will work in the event of an emergency," said LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. "The review has produced the desired effect - that is, helping to ensure the safety of our miners."
The units were ordered replaced due to visual damage, an expired date, results of color indicators on the SCSR or failure to pass a shake test.
State mine safety analysts visited 196 underground mines in Kentucky. During the meetings with miners, safety analysts demonstrated use of the units and how to properly check their working order. The safety meetings were conducted at the beginning of each shift or at the shift change.
OMSL issued an emergency bulletin to mines May 24, 2006 regarding testing of SCSR units. Coal companies are required to perform the proper checks and testing of SCSR units at their mines, using recommendations from manufacturers.
OMSL is an agency of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.