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Gas detection standard helps coal mines manage risk

gas detection standard
The new standard provides guidance for use and maintenance of gas detection equipment in coal mines

In July this year a new standard for gas detection and monitoring equipment in coal mines was launched.

The new standard incorporates world-leading practices feature for management of life saving gas detection equipment in coal mines across Australia and New Zealand.

AS/NZS 2290.3:2018Electrical equipment for coal mines – Introduction, inspection and maintenance, Part 3: Gas detecting and monitoring equipment was published by the joint Australian and New Zealand technical committee of Standards Australia.

“The primary emphasis of this standard is the safety of coal miners, by providing guidance on the use of gas detection equipment in mines,” said Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO of Standards Australia. “The Pike River Mine disaster of 2010 is one of the many devastating examples why continued standards development is so important.

“Among the changes in this edition of the standard, is a new requirement for routinely measuring the response time of installed gas detection systems. This requirement is what makes this standard a world-leading safety document.”

“Methane is a naturally present hazard in coal mines and so is understandably a clear focus for safety systems in a mine. The committee specifically made accurate, reliable and timely measurement of methane gas a clear objective in progressing this standard,” said Dr Ian Webster, Chair of the Technical Committee of Standards Australia responsible for the standard. “The introduction of the telemetry test is another innovation in this standard – this ensures that gas concentrations are not only measured, but that subsequent mitigating actions are reliably executed.”

“The guidance provided by this standard is aimed at the devices which save lives in coal mines. Safety improvements of this nature are the reason Standards Australia takes great pride in working with industry, government, trade unions, and the general public to deliver this type of project,” concluded Dr Evans.

Mines across NSW were recently warned about the need for correct procedures to be followed when calibrating and using gas detection equipment. Following an audit of mines, the NSW Resources Regulator has requested mines to ensure that the sites maintain gas detectors in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and AS/NZS 2290.3:2018.

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