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NIOSH Mine Fire Detection Technology Workshop Will Examine Research Issues, Opportunities

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 401-3749
August 11, 2003

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will hold a workshop on Sept. 4, 2003, in Pittsburgh, Pa., to discuss fire detection technology for underground coal mines that utilize mine-wide monitoring systems.

Fires in underground mines can pose life-threatening risks to miners. They may also result in mine evacuations and the temporary sealing of mines. A monitoring system that provides an early and reliable warning of an incipient fire is an important element in a mine’s fire safety program for providing worker safety.

The objectives of the NIOSH workshop are to:

  • Review mine fire detection technology;
  • Discuss current research;
  • Identify research needs/gaps; and
  • Facilitate the collaboration of mine operators, sensor manufacturers, employee representatives, and state and federal agencies in the current research efforts and in charting the future of advanced mine fire detection technology.

Presentations and discussions at the workshop will include historic perspective of mine fire detection, overview of current research on mine fire detection, panel discussions on fire detection technology, research needs, and collaborative efforts.

The workshop will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Sept. 4 in Building 140 at NIOSH’s Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15236.

For more information on this workshop, contact Chuck Lazzara, NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, telephone (412) 386-6628 or email To register for the workshop or for directions to the laboratory, contact Rose Ann Crotsley, telephone (412)386-6609 or email

For further information about NIOSH research on fire detection technology and other mining health and safety issues, visit the NIOSH web page at