Heat stress in underground coal mines poses a significant threat to miners’ health, safety and productivity. To address this, a comprehensive ventilation survey was conducted in three deep and mechanized underground coal mines. Using VentSim software, three-dimensional (3D) simulation models were developed to predict heat stress conditions based on the collected data. The developed models accurately predicted the wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), a key indicator of heat stress, with coefficient of determination (R2) values of 0.986, 0.994 and 0.993 for Mines A, B and C, respectively. The study explored the application of auxiliary ventilation and spot coolers to reduce WBGT and improve the underground workplace environment. The results showed that spot coolers were more effective in reducing heat stress, lowering WBGT by 3.9 to 5.4 °C compared with 1.2 to 1.4 °C with auxiliary fans. This study presents promising avenues for heat stress management in underground mines, with benefits for researchers, mine operators and environmentalists seeking to understand and control heat stress in such environments.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2023) 40:985–1005, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-023-00770-w