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NIOSH highlights mine fire research
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    With a growing concern over mine fires, prevention and suppression are hot topics. NIOSH researchers Michael Trevits, Alex Smith and Edward Thimons discuss their research in the area. The leading causes of US mine fires include flame cutting and, welding operations, frictional heating and ignitions, electrical shorts, mobile equipment malfunctions and spontaneous combustion. From 1990 through 2007, there were 1601 reportable fires that occurred in the US mining industry -an average of 89 fires per year. The fact that mine fires are occurring with alarming regularity reinforces the importance of recognizing and eliminating the potential hazards. These statistics also show the need for improved control and suppression technology to ensure worker health and safety if a mine fire does occur.

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