NIOSH/industry collaborative efforts show improved mining equipment cab dust protection.
Organiscak JA; Cecala AB; Thimons ED; Heitbrink WA; Schmitz M; Ahrenholtz E
Trans Soc Min Metall Explor 2003 Dec; 314:145-152
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, Red Dot Corp., the Mine Safety and Health Administration, 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% 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; Surface-mining; Mining-equipment; Respirable-dust; Silica-dusts; Filtration; Dust-particles; Enclosed-cabs; Occupational-health
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration
University of Iowa