California residents who work in underground mines know what risk they face when it comes to fires. This risk becomes especially high when there are few evacuation routes and the ventilation system is not the best that it can be. Mine owners, for their part, should know the basics when it comes to fire prevention and protection.

Ventilation on demand, for example, can be a benefit by sending clean air only to those areas where people and machinery are present. Heavy machinery, after all, can produce toxic fumes that need to be cleared away. Atmospheric monitoring is essential to fire safety. Workers should be equipped with gas detection units.

Carroll Technologies, the maker of safety equipment for the mining industry, offers a monitor that tracks the operation of conveyor belts in particular. This same device can monitor the risk for worker falls and machine breakdowns. Also available from Carroll Technologies are portable multi-gas detection units, foam packs and fire-fighting equipment.

All equipment that tunnel operators bring into the mine should comply with the standards of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Workers must be trained on the proper use of all equipment, including personal protective equipment. Breathing apparatuses are an especially important piece of PPE. Employees should know what evacuation routes to take as well.

If something goes wrong and workers are injured in a fire or explosion, then they will be left with injuries to tend to and perhaps a diminished capacity to earn a living. Under workers’ compensation law, victims may seek reimbursement for these losses. Unlike with a personal injury claim, there is no need to prove anyone’s negligence; nevertheless, a workers’ compensation claim can meet opposition. For this and other reasons, victims may want to retain legal counsel.