Although the roof strata of many underground coal mines contains well over 50% silica, the exposure of roof bolter operators to excessive levels of respirable silica can be controlled readily and inexpensively by taking a few simple maintenance procedures. The primary areas for concern are dust in the blower exhaust and dust escaping the collar of the drill hole. Mine operators can provide adequate protection from dust during roof drilling by using good- quality filter cartridges and replacing them as they become clogged or damaged, flushing the collector system, and checking periodically for system leaks and overloaded filters. This paper discusses the areas for concern and some methods that can be utilized to alleviate the problems.
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