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Development of a model to determine oxygen consumption when crawling

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2015, Vol. 338, No. 1, pp. 441-447

Pollard, J.P.; Heberger, J.R.; Dempsey, P.G.

During a mine disaster or emergency, underground air can quickly become contaminated. In these circumstances, all underground mine workers are taught to don breathable air supply units at the first sign of an emergency. However, no contemporary oxygen consumption data is available for the purposes of designing breathing air supply equipment specifically for mine escape. Further, it would be useful to quantify the oxygen requirements of breathing air supply users for various escape scenarios. To address this need, 14 participants crawled a distance of 305 m each while their breath-by-breath oxygen consumption measurements were taken. Using these data, linear regression models were developed to determine peak and average oxygen consumption rates as well as total oxygen consumption. These models can be used by manufacturers of breathing air supply equipment to aid in the design of devices that would be capable of producing sufficient on-demand oxygen to allow miners to perform self-escape.