(a) Main mine fans shall be continuously operated, except as otherwise approved in the ventilation plan, or when intentionally stopped for testing of automatic closing doors and automatic fan signal devices, maintenance or adjustment of the fan, or to perform maintenance or repair work underground that cannot otherwise be made while the fan is operating.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, when a main mine fan is intentionally stopped and the ventilating quantity provided by the fan is not maintained by a back-up fan system -
(1) Only persons necessary to evaluate the effect of the fan stoppage or restart, or to perform maintenance or repair work that cannot otherwise be made while the fan is operating, shall be permitted underground;
(2) Mechanized equipment shall be shut off before stopping the fan; and
(3) Electric power circuits entering underground areas of the mine shall be deenergized.
(c) When a back-up fan system is used that does not provide the ventilating quantity provided by the main mine fan, persons may be permitted in the mine and electric power circuits may be energized as specified in the approved ventilation plan.
(d) If an unusual variance in the mine ventilation pressure is observed, or if an electrical or mechanical deficiency of a main mine fan is detected, the mine foreman or equivalent mine official, or in the absence of the mine foreman or equivalent mine official, a designated certified person acting for the mine foreman or equivalent mine official shall be notified immediately, and appropriate action or repairs shall be instituted promptly.
(e) While persons are underground, a responsible person designated by the operator shall always be at a surface location where each main mine fan signal can be seen or heard.
(f) The area within 100 feet of main mine fans and intake air openings shall be kept free of combustible material, unless alternative precautions necessary to provide protection from fire or other products of combustion are approved in the ventilation plan.
(g) If multiple mine fans are used, the mine ventilation system shall be designed and maintained to eliminate areas without air movement.
(h) Any atmospheric monitoring system operated during fan stoppages shall be intrinsically safe.