Safety alert: Anti-static materials in underground coal mines

Safety alert: Anti-static materials in underground coal mines

Between June and September 2020, Simtars conducted a series of surface electrical resistance and spark incendivity tests on various samples of Fire Resistant and Anti-Static (FRAS) materials and products.

The tests proved that even products with lower surface resistivity (<300 MΩ) are capable of causing spark ignition when not bonded to earth. This is more likely if the product has unbonded metallic components as part of the construction and potentially may compromise worker safety in underground coal mines.

As a result of the Simtars testing, Resources Safety and Health Queensland issued safety alert no. 381 on 29 September 2020 and the New South Wales Resources Regulator released a safety alert on 9 October 2020.

The safety alerts provide details of the testing and recommend that manufacturers of FRAS-rated materials ensure testing is undertaken by an independent testing facility in accordance with the relevant requirements of MDG 3608.

Simtars can assist manufacturers and mines with the fire resistance, anti-static and spark incendivity-related research and testing of FRAS materials in accordance with MDG 3608.

Please email for any queries regarding FRAS and spark incendivity testing.