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Development of a gas monitor simulator and mine rescue contest field trials

Mining Engineering , 2012, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 47-52

Alexander, D. W.; Bealko, S. B.; Holtan, J.; McWilliams, L. J.; Whoolery, M.


Researchers from the U.S. Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR) of the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) completed field trials during coal mine rescue contests using simulated gas detectors in place of placards. The gas monitor simulator (GMS) devices replaced static, paper placards to deliver gas concentration data. Eleven teams were observed during the field contest, which was approved by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). GMS devices were given to three team members (the captain and both gasmen). Observation of teams revealed that team members changed behavior by acknowledging and sharing information more often while using the GMS. As a result of this research, it has been demonstrated that under the existing contest format, the newly developed GMS device may be used with no adverse impact on team contest performance. Furthermore, when GMS technology advantages are used, contest realism is improved. In the future, competency assessment may be incorporated.