From Tragedy to Legislation: The Impact of Insufficient Occupational Safety Training when using self-contained self-rescuers

From Tragedy to Legislation:

The importance of providing employees with proper training and mastering occupational safety skills is becoming increasingly recognized worldwide. Nowhere is this more evident than in the mining industry, tunnel construction, etc., where proper use and donning of self-contained self-rescuers for escape (SCSRs) is essential to preserve the health and life of workers. Insufficient training can lead to big accidents with many fatalities. For example, the Sago mine disaster in January 2006 in the US resulted in the death of 11 miners, with one seriously injured out of 29 miners who were underground during the accident. This disaster is considered one of the most significant in the history of the US mining industry, as it led to new legislation, the MINER Act of 2006. The new legislation significantly changed safety requirements in underground mines, including realistic trial escape mine training and an increase the safety culture in the industry. The detailed report on the incident showed that management mistakes and violations of the rules for the proper use of SCSRs’ played a significant role in the tragedy.

The most important lesson learned from the mentioned above mine disaster and many others is that theoretical knowledge should always be supported by practical skills. In this case, miners were not able to don SCSRs fast enough for a safe escape. They were unaware that the breathing conditions in SCSRs are different from those in a typical ambient atmosphere. Even experienced miners thought that breathing in SCSRs was the same as breathing in the open air, leading to the fatal decision to escape from the smoke-filled mine without SCSRs.

Similar accidents have occurred in Ukraine, where miners have not fully understood the operational principles of SCSRs. This illustrates the importance and necessity of thorough and regular training of miners.

To solve this issue, DEZEGA offers training materials and unique training equipment that allows users to train both the donning procedure and feel and train breathing conditions in SCSRs. The use of training equipment significantly optimizes the cost and time of conducting user training without losing the quality of acquired skills and knowledge.

DEZEGA's self-contained self-rescuers are used daily by more than 500,000 workers worldwide. Over 500 units annually are deployed in real-life accidents and tens of thousands of training kits are used for training.

Analysis of successful evacuation cases during emergencies confirms the need to provide not only correct and reliable self-contained self-rescuers but also to conduct proper training. Such examples are linked with the long-rated duration SCSRs (1PVM KS) saving the lives of three workers in the tunnel in the UK and seven people being rescued with belt-worn units (Ci-30 KS) in Colombia.

DEZEGA is a company that prioritizes the safety of its customers. Unfortunately, we have noticed an alarming trend in the deterioration of the culture of the use of SCSRs around the world. Therefore, we actively cooperate with international organizations in order to fulfill the requirements of existing legislation and improve regulations to increase the level of occupational safety and scale successful concepts of conducting training in conditions close to real ones that operate in Ukraine, South Africa, the USA, and Australia.

Finally, it is essential to note that proper training in the rules and skills of using SCSRs in conditions close to real for workers in hazardous industries plays a crucial role in preventing accidents and fatalities. DEZEGA's commitment to safety and innovative products make the company an industry leader in providing reliable equipment. Investing time and resources in training is critical to keeping workers safe in hazardous environments. It is a small price to pay to save lives and prevent tragedies.

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