Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other


Polyurethane Foam Fire Hazard – Safety and Health Alert

Safety and Health Alert

On June 27, 2024, a fire occurred in an underground coal mine after a large quantity of polyurethane foam was injected into a roof cavity. This is the fourth uncontrolled heating event attributed to polyurethane foam application in 4 years. Polyurethane-based foam products produce heat from an exothermic chemical reaction. Injecting large quantities of polyurethane to fill voids can cause underground mine fires.

Foam injected into a cavity above steel sets.

Photo property of MSHA

Best Practices

  • Develop a Site-Specific Plan for Void Fills. The plan should address appropriate formwork (placement of foam), injection volume and rates, personal protective equipment for chemical exposures, temperature monitoring, fire watch, and storage and handling.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Use the Proper Product. Do not fill large voids with polyurethane foam products that generate a hazardous amount of heat.
  • Train Miners. Miners working in the application of polyurethane foam should be trained in the hazards, safety precautions, and manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Original article published by MSHA