safety problems caused by methane gas released from diamond drill holes

CIM Edmonton 2004
Abstract Confined methane gas in underground diamond drill holes presents a potentially serious hazard to diamond drillers and miners.
In the past, a permanent mechanical plug was installed, followed by three cartridges of cement. This procedure varied slightly from mine to mine. Another process was to install a Margo plug. Here, the driller could continue to drill on the setup, while venting the gas via an air hose to a ventilated area.
During the summer of 2001, a methane gas explosion occured at a diamond drill job in Ontario. A Margo plug was installed properly but was not left open to vent the gas. The pressure in the hole built up and finnaly blew out the plug. The result was a violent explosion which caused two injuries, one being almost fatal. The resulting fire and explosion caused injury and lost production for both the mine and the drilling contractor. Specific methane-related job training and improved communications are two of the most important methods of ensuring a safer workplace when confronted with this unexpected hazrd. My presentation will discus the facts of the accident as well as how it could have been prevented. I also hope to propose a change in the way mining companies inform the miners and drilling contractors on the hazards of intersecting a drill hole that may contain methane gas or surface ground water. A power point presentation with pictures of the accident is available for you to get an idea of how I will be presenting this topic.

Thanks in advance for considering my application
Keywords: Methane, gas, confined, plug, fire, Safety, Explosion, lost production, diamond drill hole, injury
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