(b) Escapeways shall be provided from each working section continuous to the surface.
(c) Each escapeway shall be -
(1) Maintained in a safe condition to always assure passage of anyone, including disabled persons;
(2) Clearly marked to show the route of travel to the surface;
(3) Provided with ladders, stairways, ramps, or similar facilities where the escapeways cross over obstructions; and
(4) Maintained at least 4 feet wide by 5 feet high. If the pitch or thickness of the coal seam does not permit these dimensions to be maintained other dimensions may be approved in the ventilation plan.
(5) Provided with a continuous, durable directional lifeline or equivalent device that shall be -
(i) Installed and maintained throughout the entire length of each escapeway as defined in paragraph (b) of this section;
(ii) Flame-resistant in accordance with the requirements of part 18 of this chapter upon replacement of existing lifelines; but in no case later than June 15, 2009;
(iii) Marked with a reflective material every 25 feet;
(iv) Located in such a manner for miners to use effectively to escape;
(v) Equipped with one directional indicator cone securely attached to the lifeline, signifying the route of escape, placed at intervals not exceeding 100 feet. Cones shall be installed so that the tapered section points inby;
(vi) Equipped with one sphere securely attached to the lifeline at each intersection where personnel doors are installed in adjacent crosscuts;
(vii) Equipped with two securely attached cones, installed consecutively with the tapered section pointing inby, to signify an attached branch line is immediately ahead.
(A) A branch line leading from the lifeline to an SCSR cache will be marked with four cones with the base sections in contact to form two diamond shapes. The cones must be placed within reach of the lifeline.
(B) A branch line leading from the lifeline to a refuge alternative will be marked with a rigid spiraled coil at least eight inches in length. The spiraled coil must be placed within reach of the lifeline.
(d) Surface openings shall be adequately protected to prevent surface fires, fumes, smoke, and flood water from entering the mine.
(e) Primary escapeway. One escapeway that shall be ventilated with intake air shall be designated as the primary escapeway. The primary escapeway shall have a higher ventilation pressure than the belt entry unless the mine operator submits an alternative in the mine ventilation plan to protect the integrity of the primary escapeway, based on mine specific conditions, which is approved by the district manager.
(f) Alternate escapeway. One escapeway that shall be designated as the alternate escapeway shall be separated from the primary escapeway for its entire length.
(g) Mechanical escape facilities shall be provided -
(1) For each shaft or slope opening that is part of a primary escapeway; and
(2) For slopes that are part of escapeways, unless ladders are installed.
(h) Within 30 minutes after mine personnel on the surface have been notified of an emergency requiring evacuation, mechanical escape facilities shall be operational at the bottom of each shaft and slope opening that is part of an escapeway.
(i) Except where automatically activated hoisting equipment is used, the bottom of each shaft or slope opening that is part of a primary escapeway shall be equipped with a means of signaling a surface location where a person is always on duty when anyone is underground. When the signal is activated or the evacuation of personnel is necessary, the person on duty shall assure that mechanical escape facilities are operational as required by paragraph (h) of this section.