A mine ventilation system is an important component of an underground mining
system. It provides a sufficient quantity of air to maintain a suitable working environment.
Therefore, the mine ventilation system should be kept at a highly reliable level and also be
maintained at a very reliable level during the whole service time of the coal mine. However, in
reality, failures of a mine ventilation system do occasionally happen. Most of such failures can
result in potential risk for the workers. For example, the insufficient quantity of fresh air to the
underground mine working face may lead to the increased concentration of coal gas to the lower
flammable limit. Once an ignition source exists, a gas explosion can take place. Hence, some
failures become an immediate cause of a mine accident and can cause fatalities and/or property
damage. By an in-depth analysis, one of the reasons contributing to the mine ventilation failure is
that most systems lack enough technical considerations when they were initially designed.
Underestimating the components can substantially lead to a poor quality system. In order to
improve coal mine safety, in this paper, a model scientifically allocating the reliability practice is
introduced into the mine ventilation systems design process. Such a model can well consider the
indeterminate problems in both the decision-making process and the system itself, to achieve the
optimum reliability allocation. In detail, first, based on previous research findings, the hierarchical
structure of a mine ventilation system is identified by the analytic hierarchy process (AHP)
method. Second, the proposed reliability allocation model using the fuzzy mathematics calculation
is applied to complete and optimize the reliability allocation works. Application of this model is
also demonstrated at the end of this paper.