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Fixed-point and personal sampling of respirable dust for coal mine face workers.
Proceedings of the 6th US mine ventilation symposium, June 21-23, 1993, Salt Lake City, Utah. Bhaskar R, ed. Littleton, CO: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, 1993 Jun; :281-286
Recent allegations about tampering of coal mine dust samples have led to suggestions that the coal industry needs a respirable dust compliance sampling method that is less subject to tampering. The sampler designs under consideration include fixed location monitors that could be mounted on a mining machine or located at a stationary location in the mine, and samplers that are worn, like the existing samplers. Fixed-point samplers have a design advantage, since samplers worn on the body will have size and weight limitations. On the other hand, in some cases there are respirable dust concentration gradients, which will dictate careful placement of a fixed-point sampler inlet to determine the exposure of workers. This study examined dust concentration-gradient data obtained by the Bureau of Mines and others over the last decade. As an example of spatial gradients at continuous miners, a fixed-point monitor located in front of the operators cab shows a higher dust concentration than a sampler located on the operator and reduced exposure when the sampling location is behind the operator cab. It may be necessary to use a sampling tube with a machine mounted monitor, to sample in the operators breathing zone in the cab to provide a more representative sample of the miner's exposure. For face workers on longwalls or on continuous miner sections using remote control, the study shows significant dust level gradients and gradient variations between typical operator positions and mining machine locations. In addition, if fixed-point monitoring is used to monitor an area, vs the exposure of specific workers, dust control technologies currently employed to ensure reduced dust exposure such as the diversion of dust laden air away from the workers, or through the use of remote control of mining machinery may not indicate the same dust reduction obtained with current sampling techniques.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Dusts; Dust-samplers; Dust-sampling; Samplers; Sampling-equipment; Sampling; Sampling-methods
Proceedings of the 6th US mine ventilation symposium, June 21-23, 1993, Salt Lake City, Utah
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division