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Front Page » April 15, 2008 » Local News » Company info and refuge chamber facts
Published 3,238 days ago

Company info and refuge chamber facts

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EMT Martin Wilson checks the blood pressure on Jeri Proulx

Modern Mine Safety Supply, LLC is helping to move the safety of coal mining into the future. They are located on SR31 in Huntington. They manufacture mine refuge chambers. The chambers arrive at the fabrication shop in four pieces and are welded together. They cut all the tubing that goes around the chambers. This tubing adds support to the chamber and makes it capable of withstanding static pressures of 15 psi.

The chambers are equipped with seven purge bottles. When the chamber is entered the door into the air-locked area is closed creating just a small space between the occupation area and the outside door. Once inside this air-locked area with both doors closed, the possibly contaminated air is purged to the outside by breathable grade compressed air. Then when fresh air is introduced into the air-locked area the inside door to the chamber is opened and the men move into the occupation area of the chamber.

The chamber is equipped with chairs along each side with an aisle in the middle. The chamber has a first aid kit and a bathroom facility. MMSS is also working on an air conditioner for the unit. The chamber is equipped with meal kits and potable water. Each kit has 910,000 calories and includes water pouches that contain 14 quarts of water per miner.

Four of the chambers being constructed now are going to the Bridger underground mine in Wyoming. There are mine phones in the mine refuge chamber and if not damaged by the emergency event occupants will be able to communicate to the surface. When men enter the chamber they turn on a signal light which indicates someone is inside to alert possible rescuers.

Plant manager, Shawn Sitterud said the chambers they have constructed so far have all been sold. Energy West Mining has purchased eight units, Bridger underground mine has purchased four units and mines in Colorado have also ordered the chambers. A chamber has also been delivered to New York.

The chambers weigh approximately 21,000 pounds. Ten ton cranes are used to move them around as they are assembled. It takes 200 pounds of wire to weld everything together. The chambers are painted white so they will reflect light so they can be located in an emergency. The chamber is custom built to the unique needs and conditions of individual mining operations. The chamber is built to survive the effects of an initial explosion and could potentially protect the occupants in the event of a secondary explosion. The company is committed to ensuring the highest level of safety and service by giving a second chance to those who may not otherwise have one.

The chambers going to Bridger are 24 feet long, 95 inches wide and 5 feet 7 inches tall. The chambers weigh 11 tons upon completion.

Sitterud said the chambers are used beyond coal mining. They are used in metal/non metal mines also.

Modern Mine Safety Supply, LLC announced that the U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration approved their explosion proof blower assembly June 26, 2007. After months of hard work and research this technology is now available to power carbon dioxide scrubbing units in refuge chambers, safe havens and other refuge areas.

The company capitalizes on decades of fabrication and mining safety expertise to make their high quality Mine Refuge Chamber and Turn Key Safe Haven. With the addition of the permissible explosion proof blower assembly it makes their carbon dioxide scrubbing unit even more efficient and effective. The mine refuge chamber is certified by the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training.

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