When people enter a safe refuge or a refuge chamber in an underground mine, the environment of the refuge changes significantly. A range of air quality issues such CO2, Oxygen and Heat need to be managed adequately lest the environments can become hazardous to health and well being.
Managing thermal comfort including humidity and temperature is also critical for longer term survival of occupants. Researchers also know that the psychological factors inside mine refuges also impact well being while mine workers wait for rescue.
The US based National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has an ongoing research program devoted to refuge alternatives for emergency use in mines, specifically to evaluate how hot and humid they will become when occupied. This short video provides an introduction to the NIOSH Research program that will aim to understand the impact of thermal issues in refuges.
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