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ESH Manual Page: 3000: Emergency Prevention and Management
1.0 Emergency Medical Situations - Underground 

The following are the response actions when encountering a person who has sustained a serious injury in the underground: 

  1. Remove the injured person to a place of safety if he/she is at risk of further injury. Only remove the person is you can do so safely with no further injury to the victim or yourself. 
  2. Check victim’s responsiveness, airway, breathing, and circulation. 
  3. Immediately instruct any nearby personnel to notify the hoist operator or if no one is nearby call the hoist operator yourself. State clearly to the hoist operator who you are, where you are, what your situation is, what you need for help, and what actions have been taken thus far. 
  4. Initiate CPR if indicated. 
  5. The hoist operator shall call 911 and identify where to send emergency help using the location maps (Appendices 2 and 4). 
  6. The hoist operator shall call out infrastructure technicians to respond to the incidents using radio and telephone. 
  7. The hoist operator shall call out the ERC. 
  8. The hoist operator will call out security. 
  9. The ERC shall contact other emergency services, as he deems appropriate. 
2.0 Emergency Medical Situations - Surface 

The following are the response actions when encountering a person who has sustained a serious injury at the surface: 

  1. Remove the injured person to a place of safety if he/she is at risk of further injury. Only remove the person if you can do so safely with no further injury to the victim or yourself. 
  2. Check victim’s responsiveness, airway, breathing, and circulation. 
  3. Immediately call 911 yourself or have another person call 911 (dispatch) and the ERC. . 
  4. The ERC will call out security. 
  5. Initiate CPR if indicated. 
  6. Await the emergency help. 
3.0 Fire - Underground 

Fire in the underground is detected by sight, smell, or carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. An evacuation will ensue if a large non-combatable fire is observed or the source of the CO is not known. In either case, initiate the following underground response: 

  1. Call the hoist operator and inform him/her of your name, location, and conditions. 
  2. The hoist operator will notify the ERC and a decision will be made whether or not to ‘dump the stench’ (bottle located at the top Ross and Yates shafts). The stench smell signifies an underground evacuation. You will know this smell by the odor of rotten eggs or as the same smell emitted from natural gas or propane. 
  3. Personnel shall return to shaft-stations via the Primary Evacuation Route unless otherwise instructed to do so by radio, phone or communications with infrastructure technicians. Call the hoist operator and inform him/her of your location. 
  4. Personnel in the outer fringes of the underground ventilation footprint must be notified and retrieved by a person designated by the ERC or hoist operator. 
  5. The ERC will determine what response is necessary, which may include dispatching the ERT. 
4.0 Fire - Surface 

Surface fires that cannot be readily extinguished will result in the declaration of an emergency. Initiate the following emergency response for surface fires: 

  1. Evacuate the building/fire area. Stay up-wind. 
  2. Call 911. Be sure to state your name, location and, if possible, the nature of the fire (chemical, structural, electrical). 
  3. Call the ERC and report the fire details. 
  4. Call security as directed by the ERC and provide access to the site for fire-fighting equipment. 
  5. Secure the area without compromising safety.

5.0 Chemical Spills/Releases - Underground and Surface 

Spills and/or leaks that require an emergency response are releases of hazardous materials that may threaten surface water, ground water, and soils; and that cannot be immediately cleaned-up (non-incidental spills). These spills should be reported immediately to the ERC who will activate the URT or the SPCC Response Team. An emergency response to a spill or leak is as follows: 

  1. Approach a spill/release from an upwind direction. 
  2. Determine the material spilled by its label, placard or shipping papers. 
  3. Contain the spill and prevent it from spreading if it is safe to do so. Dike, berm or absorb the spill. It is important to protect surface waters, groundwater, and drains. This is a priority. Avoid contact with a spill. Use shovels, rakes or other tools/equipment to construct containment. 
  4. Secure the area with caution tape (in spill kits) to prevent other personnel from entering the contamination zone. 
  5. Call the ERC or notify personnel nearby to call the ERC. 
  6. The ERC will call out the ERT if necessary. 
  7. The ERC will call out the Environmental Manager to determine what off-site reporting is necessary and to direct clean-up. 
  8. For spills underground follow steps outlined in 14.3. Call the hoist operator and notify him/her of the situation. The hoist operator will notify on-site infrastructure technicians to respond to the spill if it is safe to do so. The hoist operator will contact the ERC. 

6.0 Severe Weather/ Natural Disasters 

Severe weather/natural disasters are defined as an earthquake, tornado, hurricane, sand storm, flood threat, blizzard, severe lightening, etc.) 

  1. Personnel hearing of a natural disaster warning or observing a situation, that may compromise safe operations, shall advise his/her foreman and/or call the ERC. 
  2. The ERC will make a decision to evacuate the underground based on the potential emergency. The Laboratory Director and Operations Manager, will also consider an ‘early dismissal’ of all personnel to proceed home. 
  3. The ERC will relay the emergency information to all work-site personnel by means of contact by telephone, radio, email, or other means as necessary. 
  4. Personnel shall proceed to their designated weather/natural disaster meeting areas, if indicated (see Table A below) 
    • Turn off all utility feeds (if possible) 
    • Check rooms along path for personnel 
    • Close doors and leave them unlocked 
  5. Supervisors shall take charge of assembled personnel and account for personnel present and ask if anyone is missing. The supervisor shall report to the ERC the names and last known location of any unaccounted personnel. 
  6. If directed by the Laboratory Director or Operations Manager, supervisors shall call off-site personnel and inform them to stay home until the all-clear decision is made. 
  7. The ERC is authorized to issue a “Release to Normal Operations” for emergencies with a standard declaration. The Laboratory Director must approve a “Release to Normal Operations” for any formally declared emergency (see ERP). 
  8. Refer to Table A. 

Table A: Designated Shelter Areas for Sever Weather and Natural Disasters 


  Weather/Natural Disaster Shelter 

Administration Building 

 First floor PPE room and the 2nd Floor Vault Conference room. 

Ross and Yates Hoist Rooms 

 Basements away from windows 

Ross Head frame, Dry, Crusher room, shop buildings, and yards 

 Ross ramp 

Yates Head frame, Dry, Crusher room, shop buildings, and yards 

 Yates ramp 

Water Treatment Plan 

 Basement below the Rotating Biological Contactors (RBCs) 

LUX Surface Facility 

 Very bottom floor south wall away from windows 

Remote areas or other 

 Seek the center of a sturdy shelter away from windows 

7.0 Water Inundation - Underground 

Ponded water or heavy rains may create conditions for inundation in the underground. The inundation hazard is typically localized to areas adjacent or near the source of the water with the possible exception of raises and stopes near a shaft. Release of a large volume of water requires the following actions. Personnel should report to the operations foreman or safety department any abnormal increase of water or related changed conditions detected in their work area. 

  1. Immediately identify the direction of water flow 
  2. Proceed away from the flow and if possible towards other drifts that allow the water to dissipate. Do not approach shaft with the imminent approach of significant water. 
  3. Remain upright and do not lose your footing; hold onto ground support as necessary. 
  4. Stay close to the rib and avoid the middle of the drift. Do not proceed towards a shaft. 
  5. Wait until the water subsides before traveling in any drift, so you can see where you are walking. 
  6. Notify the hoist operator of conditions 
8.0 Power Outage/Hoist Failure - Surface 
  1. Personnel shall notify the infrastructure technicians of the situation by radio or phone. 
  2. The infrastructure technicians shall contact the hoist operator to determine the extent of the outage. 
  3. Infrastructure technicians shall call the ERC and advise him of the situation. 
  4. Personnel shall return to their morning meeting areas until power is restored. 
  5. Infrastructure technicians shall follow the switching SOP to restore power.
9.0 Entrapment - Underground 

Personnel may be trapped in the underground as a result of fall of rock, sand slump, water inundation, vehicle entrapment, or loss of hoist capability. Personnel encountering a trapped person shall: 

  1. Notify immediately an infrastructure technician and the hoist operator. 
  2. The hoist operator shall notify the ERC. 
  3. The ERC shall call out designated emergency personnel. 
  4. Personnel trapped shall initiate banging on pipes or on the rock face with a hard object. The signalling shall consist of ten successive strikes every 15 minutes. 
  5. Personnel should limit their movements in the trapped space and listen for rescuers. Do not panic. 
10.0 Vehicle Entrapment - Surface 
  1. Immediately call 911 for assistance. 
  2. Notify the ERC. 
  3. The ERC will call out Security and the ERT if necessary. 
11.0 Ventilation Failure 

The underground is ventilated by two intake shafts. Air is drawn down the Yates and Ross Shafts and provides oxygen and removes heat and contaminates from the various levels of the underground. Strategically placed air doors and walls facilitate air circulation to working areas of the underground. In general, the circulated air is forced to the south where air exhausts to the surface via the Oro Hondo and 5-Shaft exhaust raises. The Oro Hondo main exhaust raise consists of a primary fan and a back-up fan, both are reversible. The #5 Shaft exhaust raise also pulls air from the underground using a single reversible exhaust fan. Fans should not be reversed unless the location of all underground personnel is known and approved by the ERC. The malfunction of one or both ventilation fans will result in the following actions. 

  1. Personnel shall immediately notify an infrastructure technician and hoist operator. 
  2. The hoist operator shall notify the ERC. 
  3. If only one intake shaft is operable, underground operations can continue. If this occurs during a normal day or night shift, it will require ventilation door changes under the direction of the SURF Ventilation Technician or designee. If this situation occurs during night shift, when only shaft maintenance work is being conducted, work can continue without door changes. 
  4. If both intake shafts are inoperable (meaning both the main and backup fans are not working), natural ventilation processes will continue to supply fresh air to the underground, but in reduced amounts. However, if both forced systems are lost, all personnel shall be evacuated from the underground. Under these conditions, further access to the underground is restricted to only essential individuals working on ventilation or other emergencies. Normal operations will not resume until ventilation is re-established and air quality is verified by Engineering or EHS personnel 
12.0 Security Threats 

12.1. Bomb Threats 

  1. Personnel learning of bomb threat shall call the ERC and report details. 
  2. The ERC shall notify the Laboratory Director, security, Lead police department, county sheriff’s office, Lead fire department and Lawrence County Emergency Management Office. 
  3. The Lab will be placed under emergency conditions and will begin immediate evacuation. 
  4. Ethyl mercapatan (stench) shall be released into the underground to initiate underground evacuation. 
  5. Radio, phone, alarm and personal communication will alert Lab personnel. 
  6. All access points shall be manned or gated and locked down. 
  7. The ERC will direct Lab personnel to off-site evacuation points or instruct personnel to go home. 
  8. All Project Personnel shall be accounted for by their supervisor and then reported to the ERC.

12.2. Threats to Employees 

Threats to persons from outside the project shall be immediately reported to security who will notify the Laboratory Director, the EHS Director, and Human Resources; and as determined by the Laboratory Director, the county sheriff and local police. 

12.3. Vandalism 

Vandalism shall be immediately reported to security who will notify the ERC and EHS Director. The EHS Director will report the event to the Laboratory Director and as determined by the Laboratory Director; the county sheriff and local police. 

12.4. Threats received by Computer 

Any computer related threats are to be reported immediately to the Laboratory Director, IT department manager and to the CFO. The IT department will assess the threat, determine the course of action, and notify users by appropriate means. 

12.5. Espionage 

Any person suspected of stealing sensitive information from the Lab shall be immediately reported to security. Security will notify the ERC, the Laboratory Director. The Laboratory Director will determine the course of action in consultation with other individuals he deems appropriate.