March 4, 2018 Tara

Strata Worldwide is a global company that has always invested considerable time and resources into fully understanding the underground working environment. Through years of research and experience, the companyhas developed a number of effective solutions for increasing the safety of workers and overcoming inherent problems and limitations.

One of the company’s leading products is the Strata Emergency Refuge Chamber. Emergency Refuge Chambers are complete safety systems designed to provide immediate shelter and breathable air to underground workersin the event the air quality in the working environment becomes compromised. Chambers serve as an emergency cache of breathable air to support personnel in the event that escape is not possible.



In the event the chamber is used, high ambient temperatures in the mine, combined with the natural heat build-up from humans in an enclosed area, have the potential to create hazardous conditions for the occupants over time. Cooling of this environment and controlling the humidity becomes vital.To accomplish this, Strata includes one or two (depending on the application) 24-volt air conditioning systems with dehumidifying capabilities. The units draw a low current from the chamber’s main power source.

In addition, insulation placed on the walls and ceiling of the chamber helps to minimise the effect ofoutside radiant heat and assists the AC units in cooling the internal environment.


Strata’s chambers are connected to the mine’s main power sourcefor indefiniteoperations. In the event of a power failure, the chamber will automatically switch to battery backup power and be powered for a minimum of 36 hours at a current draw of 5 amps.

The fully automatic battery backup system is comprised of lead acid, fiber mat and crush-proof batteries that are connected to a charging module. Packs include a visual indicator that warns against low voltage charge and an improved battery design provides an enhanced lifecycle andprotection against overheating. They are bundled in convenient portable packs to optimise handling and transportation and eliminate the manual handling of individual batteries.

The backup battery packs are now placed on a pull-out shelf at the entrance of the chamber to allow for easier operational and maintenance access.

BREATHABLE AIR:               

Chambers can be connected to the mine’s main air lines for an indefinite supply of air. A specialisedair filtration system cleans the mine air, making it suitable for human consumption,prior to the air being released into the main compartment of the chamber. In addition, all chambers are equipped with an active-type carbon dioxide scrubber and oxygen bottles for a backupsupply of breathable air.

Active CO2 scrubbers utilisepoweredfans andsoda lime chemicals to remove CO2 from the air. Oxygen bottles replenish theoxygen levels in the unit’s air supply and are controlled by regulators to ensure safe levels.CO produced by human exhalation is removed using a catalyst that converts the CO into CO2, and scrubbed by the soda lime chemicals.



Strata offersstandard and custom-built chambers to suit individual customer requirements.

Standard equipment and supplies:

  • Air conditioning with dehumidifying
  • LED lighting
  • Air filtration
  • Back-up battery power and air supplies
  • Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide removal
  • Padded seating, food, water and a private lavatory
  • Airlock entrance

Additional options include:

  • Gas monitoring
  • Communications
  • Purge air for airlock compartment



Compact and Mobile Chambers

Four- to six-personcompact units, designed to be highly mobile for quick and easy placement in the working section.Optional wheel and hitch package and/orIT attachment.

Segmented Chamber

Full-size segmented units, built and delivered in segments and assembled underground. This design optimises transportation and handling, and helps to overcome entry shaft and/or handling restrictions at the mine site.

Tunneling or Narrow Chambers

Tunneling-specific chambers are designed and constructed to be narrower in width to suit the tunneling environment. Tunneling chambers can be mounted directly onto Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), onto rails or placed within the tunnel during active operations.


For more information please contact:

Paul Morrish
Product Manager Refuge Chambers
Main Office + 61 2 4960 9705
Mobile: +61 419 444 769
Address: Unit 1 / 8 Channel Road, Mayfield, NSW, 2304 Australia

Previous Article
Draft code targeting FIFO mental health open for comment
Draft code targeting FIFO mental health open for comment

The department of Mines, Regulation & Safety in Western Australia is seeking feedback on a draft code of pr...

Next Article

Chances are, if you mention the phrase “gold rush” to anyone associated with the mining industry, they’ll k...