The Mine Rescue Heat Stress Report, including an Ontario Mine Rescue Heat Exposure Standard, was released by Ontario Mine Rescue to help provincial mines encountering higher temperatures in their mining operations. Heat stress disorders are a spectrum of health issues from mild to severe with potentially fatal results as the body attempts to control a rising core temperature.
Approximately a dozen mine rescuers in Poland, the United States, China and South Africa have died from heat stress disorders in different incidents during the past 15 years. These incidents and a growing awareness of the issue here as Ontario mines reach new depths and encounter hotter operating temperatures, prompted Ontario Mine Rescue to prepare the report and determine a standard for its volunteer mine rescuers.
The report advises mining operations on heat stress and how to minimize the risk of heat stress for their mine rescue teams, and this Heat Exposure Standard is now part of OMR’s operating procedures for mine rescue teams. Specialized training is underway in the province. Both the standard and the report are available for free download.