Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Governor Fletcher orders emergency bulletin on self rescuer units
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 5, 2006) - Governor Ernie Fletcher today ordered the release of a safety bulletin on potential problems with certain Self-Contained Self Rescuer units that have been exposed to extreme heat. The bulletin, from the state Office of Mine Safety and Licensing (OMSL), requires coal companies to remove from service any CSE SR-100 unit that has been exposed to extreme heat or has a questionable history of storage.
Kentucky mine safety officials observed recent testing of CSE SR-100 units from the West Virginia Office of Miners Health Safety and Training. Preliminary test results showed units exposed to high temperatures failed to perform as needed.
"There is no issue of greater importance than the safety of Kentucky’s miners and we are taking the necessary steps to improve their protection," Governor Fletcher said. "Miners’ lives are on the line each time they begin a shift and we are taking steps toward ensuring that SCSR units are in proper working order."
The West Virginia units tested had been stored in inspectors’ vehicles, exposing the units to temperatures greater than 130 degrees.
The OMSL bulletin indicates CSE SR-100 units manufactured prior to 2004 that are not equipped with a temperature indicator may not function properly if exposed to high temperatures.
Earlier this year Governor Fletcher ordered OMSL to re-emphasize the proper care and use of SCSR units with Kentucky miners. State mine safety analysts visited 196 underground mines in Kentucky and 134 of the devices worn by miners were found defective and removed from service.