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Safety & Communication in the Dark Created by Pat Gazewood

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1 Safety & Communication in the Dark Created by Pat Gazewood
Cap Lamp Signals Safety & Communication in the Dark Created by Pat Gazewood

2 Underground Mining Presents Many Challenges.
Environment is primary concern. Atmosphere. Ground conditions. No lighting. Atmospheres can be deadly. Mine gases are common in underground mining. Causing deadly conditions. Ground conditions are an ever present danger, Gravity works 24/7. Man can try and control gravities effect. But ultimately nature will always win. If a person wants to know what total blackness is ask a blind person. If you want know what total blackness is enter a underground mine, and turn out your light. Just like the blind man. You eyes cannot comprehend the blackness, and you will stumbling around in the dark just like the blind man. Darkness makes all men equal.

3 History Teaches: Fire was first tool used for illumination in underground mining for centuries. Later candle sticks were used up until the 19th century.

4 Miners Needed Better Lighting.
Candles created poor lighting. Candles started fires, killing thousands of miners over the centuries. Methane gas explosions were a big problem.

5 Walking Down the Drift Was a Problem.
Then someone thought. Let’s stick a candle on a cap. The cap lamp was born. Still problems persisted. Wax in your eye burns. Hair burns really nice. Smells great too!

6 Invention Is the Mother of Necessity.
Lamps progressed from candles to carbide. From carbide to batteries. Better illumination was a must. Carbide lights worked better than candles. But still had limitations. When the carbide when out you were left in the dark, and methane gas explosions were still possible. Carbide lamps were not intrinsically safe.

7 Invention of Portable Battery Units.
Greatly increased visibility. Reduced fire hazards. Increased safety in working areas.

8 Cap Lamps Have All Kinds of New Features.
Halogen bulbs. PED devices. Leaky feeder radio. Longer battery life. Reduced sizes & weight. Intrinsically safe.

9 Cap Lamps Are a Safety Tool & PPE.
It illuminates hazards. By allowing better identifications of hidden objects in the dark. It communicates a miner’s actions. It allows you to control actions of others that may not see hidden dangers by warning them.

10 Safety Tools Require Proper Training.
Cap lamp signals can be a matter of life or death!!! Improper usage causes problems up and down the mining cycle. Not understanding signals creates dangerous behaviors. It can create ramp rage, delay mining cycles, and lead to an accident, or worse death.

11 Cap Lamps Are Simple to Learn & Practice.
There are three basic commands. Come forward. Move away. Stop.

12 Come Forward Command: This command is simple. Rotate head in a wide circular motion. This commands indicates that the individual doing the command would like you to come forward. If you are on foot it may be to talk. If you are on a piece of equipment it may be to bring the equipment forward.

13 Move Away Command: This command is made by moving the head up down like you nodding yes. When used properly this command indicates that the miner needs you to move away. If you are on a piece of equipment it means move your machine down the drift.

14 The Stop Command: This command is simple. It means stop NOW!!!
Move the head back and forth like your motioning “no” with the head. This command is a power command and should always be heed. It means that the miner wants you to stop now. He may see a hidden danger that you don’t see. Always pay special attention when you see this command. It can mean the difference of life or death. Moving back or forward a little bit can be catastrophic, and may result in injury or worse death. Two different fatalities at this mine could have been prevented by obeying cap lamp signals. Both happened on the 1525 level several years ago. One fatality involved a 30 ton truck backing into another truck and killing the operator. The other involved a water truck backing over an edge into an open stope. Both accidents could have been prevented through proper recognition of cap lamp signals. In the case of the water truck driver a fellow employee was using lamp signals trying to warn the driver of the unknown hazard behind him. But not heeding the signals given, led to the employee backing over the edge into the stope, and ultimately his death.

15 Hindrances to Cap Lamp Communication.
What barriers cause break downs in communication here & create hazards. Misunderstood signals. Illumination in haulage ways. Lack of training. Stubbornness. Belief that hand signals are visible in the dark. Laziness. One other hint, don’t shine your light in other’s miners eyes. Or you might just see the light.

16 Overcoming Communications Hindrances.
Don’t rely on drift illumination as a communication catch all. If you don’t understand signals stop & talk verbally. Overcome the deer in the headlight look. Work with one another, not against. Learn to use lamp signals they are more empowering than hand signals when used properly.

17 Proper Care For Personal Cap Lamps.
Inspect lamp before & after each use. Note: charging status. Green light is lit. It’s fully charged. Unlit green light, it’s not fully charged. Some of the new lamps have a memory chip that remembers how long a light is used for, and charges the battery for that duration. If your lamp has problems keeping a charge for the full shift. Be sure and communicate that on the repair slip. That way the lampman can run that lamp through a test and see it the memory of that lamp needs reset, or the battery replaced.

18 Proper Personal Lamp Care Cont.
Inspect cords. Test both bulbs. Make sure cords have reflective tape so if your light goes out you can be scene. Check lens. Check for missing parts.

19 Repair Tag Station If your lamp is B.O. Tag it out.
Attach a repair tag. List what is wrong & tie a knot in cord.

20 Cap Lamp Care Cont. Leave lamp in charger.
If your lamp goes dead, while underground, lamps are at various places underground. Follow up. Return spare lamps back to original chargers. When finished.

21 In Summary: Effective communication with cap lamps increases operator awareness. Reduces confusion between mining personnel. Lowers the potential for major traumatic accidents.

22 Working Accident Free Requires Everyone’s Help
Working Accident Free Requires Everyone’s Help. Going Home Safely Everyday is The Most Important Thing You Can Do Today!

23 Safe Working Motto: There is No Service So Needed,
No Job So Important, That We Cannot Take The Time To Do The Job Safely.

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