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Controlling respirable dust on continuous mining operations.
Best practices for dust control in coal mining. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2010-110, Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and health, 2010 Jan; :41-64
This chapter discusses proven methods and engineering controls to minimize respirable dust concentrations on continuous mining operations. The highest respirable dust concentrations on continuous mining sections are generated from two sources: the continuous miner and the roof bolter. Also, continuous miner and roof bolter operators are often exposed to elevated silica levels as a result of cutting or drilling into rock. The occupation on a mechanized mining unit with the highest dust exposure, based on results of respirable dust samples collected by MSHA, is classified as the designated occupation (DO) by MSHA. In addition to being sampled by MSHA, each DO is also sampled bimonthly by the mine operator. The samples are then submitted to MSHA for analysis to determine compliance with the applicable dust standard. MSHA lowers the dust standard below 2 mg/m3 if the silica content of the sample exceeds 5% by weight in dust samples. For operations on reduced dust standards, MSHA inspector samples from 2004-2008 show that 20% of miner operator samples and 10% of bolter operator samples exceeded their applicable reduced dust standard [MSHA 2009]. In this chapter, controls for continuous miners and roof bolters are discussed in detail. Controls for other related sources of dust, such as intake air, are also described.
Mining-industry; Coal-mining; Underground-mining; Dust-control; Engineering-controls; Respirable-dust; Silica-dusts; Regulations; Standards; Exposure-limits; Control-methods; Equipment-operators; Dust-sampling; Dust-analysis;
Best practices for dust control in coal mining
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division