Mining Publication: A Company-Perspective Cost Analysis of the Personal Dust Monitor (PDM)
The personal dust monitor (PDM) is a new coal mine respirable dust sampling instrument that has the ability to provide accurate end-of-shift and real-time respirable dust exposure data. A hypothetical cost comparison analysis of the PDM with the current MSHA-required coal mine dust personal sampling unit (CMDPSU) was conducted. Some simplifying assumptions were made to create hypothetical cases for analysis. This analysis was limited to respirable dust sampling of one designated operator (DO) and one designated area (DA) for one mechanized mining unit (MMU) which operated one shift per day. Only sampling intervals of the minimum sampling as required by federal regulations and continuous sampling were analyzed. This cost analysis from the company perspective is only one part of an overall cost/benefit analysis that should be conducted at a later date. In this analysis, company-associated costs were examined for both sampling systems. Results show that the PDM, while it has high initial costs of approximately $12,600, may be a cost-effective sampling system for measuring coal mine respirable dust. The estimated present worth cost of conducting the minimum required dust sampling over a five-year life ranges from $5,850 to $19,000 for the CMDPSU, with the higher present worth cost including costs of potential violations incurred. For the PDM, the comparable present worth cost is $14,900 to $19,300, with the lower present worth cost representing a lower capital cost of $8,150 per unit if more than 850 units are produced per year, while the higher present worth cost reflects the result with the higher $12,600 capital cost.