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Underground Mine Electrical work #175935 03/15/08 11:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 109
njelectricmaster Offline OP
Hello from South Dakota!!!!!

Hey guys and gals. I know I havn't posted anything in a while, but here is a quick update.

I just got hired on at a local mine that is being converted into a science lab. This is an 8000ft deep gold mine that is no longer being mined actively. I will still be an electrician, but instead of doing just 480v and less, I will also be installing transformers and gear for 12kva and up.

I am really excited to learn something new about the trade I love so much. I hope we are allowed to take pics. I would like to post them here for all to see, but I don't know if they allow it or not.

I have to go to 48hrs of MSHA training before I can go underground, but I can't imagine it is a lot different than OSHA training.

If any of you have worked underground before I would really like to hear advice from you.

I start on the 24th and will post some updates as I get the chance. Life gives us so many chances for opportunity. It is our choice to take them!


Jon Niemeyer

Jon Niemeyer
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Re: Underground Mine Electrical work [Re: njelectricmaster] #175952 03/15/08 07:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 849
Yoopersup Offline
Been there Several mines . Dirty , usually unsafe and there Not required or interested in the NEC code rules.
Good Luck and watch yer self

Re: Underground Mine Electrical work [Re: Yoopersup] #175958 03/15/08 08:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
I do hope they have more training than that in store for you.

Mines have their own rules, and are exempt from the NEC - IF they're mines. A buried laboratory would, generally, need to meet NEC. For those who are wondering, following the NEC can actually create hazards in some mining situations... hence the special rules.

Voltages over 600 have their own rules. They better see to it you learn them - and have the appropriate tools and equipment available! This will be especially important, as high voltages tend to make air less resistant to electrical current flow - and, if the air is not replaced immediately with fresh air, you'll be exposed to some pretty amazing arcs.

Re: Underground Mine Electrical work [Re: njelectricmaster] #175964 03/16/08 02:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 35
homerjones Offline
Ive worked in mining before and ive also worked in hydro yards with high voltage high voltage meaning anything over 1kv but more likely 4160 , 7200 13.8 kv and up require you to be extremely careful ruber gloves and hot sticks are a must. ( always but always do your tests on your gloves they must be tested by a testing agency and the expiration date stamped on the glove check them for air leaks because a pin hole could mean your life hot sticks must also be tested and expirary stamped on them. msha is mining safety and health common core is probably what your going to get for training im in canada and there are differences but write in here for your concerns there are lots of us who can guide you in your concerns also never work ion anything that is not grounded and locked out its your life.

Re: Underground Mine Electrical work [Re: homerjones] #175993 03/17/08 05:13 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 109
njelectricmaster Offline OP
Thanks for the replies.

I should clarify a few things.

SAFETY IS NUMBER 1 !!! As you step onto the property there is a large sign that says "Everyone home EVERY night!" I would not have taken the job if their safety program was not as good as it is.

I will be the number 3 electritian on a 3 man team. we work 4 days on 2 days off. That way there are 2 men working as a team every day. NO ONE works alone.

Lock out tag out is sop. (after as many years in the trade, I have all my own locks and tags and I have the only set of keys).

High voltage PPE is supplied by the company and it is immediate termination of job if you don't use it.

The head electritian is a very close friend of mine. He is a master electrician as well as an expierienced miner. It is our responsibility to ensure that our work is up to standards. We will rely on the NEC so far as it does not conflict with standard mine safety. I did notice in the electrical rules for the mine that the NEC really is the MINIMUM standard.

The only real inspector we have on site is the safety inspector. And he is always on the move.

As far as the Lab goes; it is my understanding that the levels of the mine where they will be are to be built out and wired like a standard building. (as standard as you can be 8000ft under ground.) Should be quite an experience.

My main questions for all you is how hard is it to adjust to being dark when you go to work, dark at work, and dark when you get off!?! Don't know how I will handle it. Guess we will see.


Jon Niemeyer
Re: Underground Mine Electrical work [Re: njelectricmaster] #175999 03/17/08 08:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,577
gfretwell Online Content
Jon, we spent a few days in the Spearfish Canyon Lodge on our Dakota trip last summer. We had lots of fun ragging out a rented Suburban on the labyrinth of dirt roads behind the lodge.

This place is back there somewhere

Greg Fretwell
Re: Underground Mine Electrical work [Re: gfretwell] #176021 03/18/08 08:38 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 109
njelectricmaster Offline OP
Good pics Greg.

That is about 7 miles from my house.


Jon Niemeyer
Re: Underground Mine Electrical work [Re: njelectricmaster] #176055 03/19/08 03:55 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 35
homerjones Offline
lock out and tagged is good but like i said dont forget to check your hot gloves each and everytime you use them that means checking for cracks and punctures in the rubber and making sure they hold air no pin holes if they do and that they are not expired and in need of retest i see lots of guys who dont test each and every time like i said it could mean your life one day (safe habits will keep you alive)also dont forget to check the leather coverups make sure no slivers in them also make sure they are rated for the voltage your dealing with.


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