There is the potential in underground mines for an irrespirable atmosphere to be generated as a result of fire, outburst of toxic gases, or the concentration of diesel emissions in poorly ventilated headings.
Since oxygen is vital for life, access to breathable air is critical. A refuge chamber can provide a safe haven while waiting for the fresh air supply to be reinstated or a rescue to be mounted.
It is the first place or location where rescue will be attempted to extricate personnel from the workplace to safety.
Refer to Fires underground in Guidance about addressing some common fire hazards for information on helping to prevent fires in underground mines.