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NIOSH/industry collaborative efforts show improved mining equipment cab dust protection.

Organiscak JA; Cecala AB; Thimons ED; Heitbrink WA; Schmitz M; Ahrenholtz E
2003 SME Annual Meeting, Feb 24-26, Cincinnati, Ohio, preprint 03-009. Littleton, CO: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc., 2003 Feb; :1-8
Mobile excavation equipment operators at surface mines generally have the highest exposure to airborne respirable silica dust. Operator cabs on newer equipment are usually enclosed and equipped with heating and air conditioning systems. Many newer cabs are also equipped with air filtration systems. However, some newer cabs and many older cabs have either inefficient or no air filtration systems. The U. S. surface mining industry is still populated with older equipment and many of these have cabs that provide little or no respirable silica dust protection. Collaborative field studies were conducted as part of a partnership involving NIOSH, Clean Air Filter (registered), Red Dot, MSHA, and several mine operators to demonstrate that effective dust protection can be provided by these cabs at a nominal cost to mine operators. This effort encompassed adding an external make-up air fan and filter system to a retrofitted roof-mounted heating and air conditioning system in three older equipment cabs, and attempting to seal the cab enclosures to achieve interior cab pressurization. A better than 90 percent dust reduction was measured inside two of the three enclosed equipment cabs. It was possible to achieve positive cab pressurization inside these two cabs. A less, significant dust reduction was measured inside the third cab, where positive pressurization was not achieved. These field studies demonstrate the key elements needed to improve enclosed cab dust protection in a cost-effective manner.
Excavation-equipment; Silica-dusts; Silicates; Dust-control-equipment; Dust-exposure; Air-filters; Dust-suppression; Engineering-controls; Control-technology
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
2003 SME Annual Meeting, Feb 24-26, Cincinnati, Ohio, preprint 03-009
Page last reviewed: March 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division