Using large quantities of foam products to fill voids can spark underground fires in mines, the Mine Safety and Health Administration is reminding industry stakeholders.
In a recently published safety alert, MSHA cautions that polyurethane-based foam products “will produce heat from an exothermic chemical reaction,” creating a heat and ignition hazard.
Best practices for working safely with foam products include:
- Use the proper product; don’t fill large voids with foam products that generate a hazardous amount of heat.
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- Train miners before handling and using foam, grout and resin products – including on potential heat hazards.
- Educate miners on chemical exposure hazards and provide them with Safety Data Sheets.
- Ensure the form used to support foam is fire resistant or fire retardant.