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Planning a dust free coal mine.
Proceedings of the VIIth International Pneumoconioses Conference, August 23-26, 1988, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 90-108, 1990 Nov; (Part II):1271-1276
A review was presented of the progress which has been made in controlling dust in some underground coal mines and the planning needed for developing a dust free coal mine. It was noted, however, that complete dust control will probably never be achieved with current mining methods. Typical sources of respirable dust in coal mines included coal cutting, coal handling and transport, and roof caving and roof drilling for bolting. Approaches typically used to reduce dust exposure included decreasing production of respirable dust, suppressing production of airborne dust, and keeping miners in areas having low dust concentration. Although keeping miners in areas with low dust concentration can be assisted by using remotely controlled equipment, this approach is effective only for dust generated by a single source. However, most mines were noted to contain many sources of dust. It was noted possible to create a dust free coal mine; however, to achieve this, eliminating respirable dust must be recognized as a top priority during the planning and designing stage. Techniques for controlling respirable dust generated by coal cutting, coal handling and transport, roof caving and shield support, and roof bolting were discussed. These included water jet assisted coal cutting, using hydraulic transport systems in place of conveyor belts for handling and transporting coal, using foams as well as water sprays in roof caving and shield support operations, and using wet drilling with or without water jet cutting in roof bolting operations. Using a hydraulic transport system was considered to be the most important technique for reducing dust production. An economic analysis indicated that hydraulic transport used in conjunction with slurry density control and regulation by a dedicated expert pump system was feasible.
Coal mining; Dust suppression; Coal dust; Respirable dust; Control methods; Work practices; Mining equipment; Health protection
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 90-108
Proceedings of the VIIth International Pneumoconioses Conference, August 23-26, 1988, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division