11/1/2013 7:47 AM
by Nadine Grimley
ARLINGTON, Va. - The Mine Safety and Health Administration warned mine operators about the increased safety risks brought on by winter weather.
Statistics showed that deadly mine explosions historically occurred more often during October through March than during warmer periods. According to MSHA, lower barometric pressures and low humidity, coupled with seasonal drying of surfaces on mine roofs and ribs increased the chances of an explosion. Other potential hazards included icy walkways. limited visibility, and frozen and thawed high-walls that cause instability.
MSHA recommended several precautions like thorough examinations, sufficient ventilation, adequate rock dusting, and maintaining escape routes.