Kristie Davies – Occupational Hygienist, Anglo American
A number of different products that are used for ground consolidation works in the mining industry contain polymeric chemicals, predominantly isocyanates, phenols and formaldehydes.
Exposures to these chemicals have potential to cause occupational asthma, skin and eye irritation and some are classified as a Category 2 carcinogen.
Air monitoring can be conducted to determine inhalation risk; however this has its limitations due to available methodologies for sampling including the capacity to capture all isomers of chemicals in those products used.
Health effects from polymeric chemicals can also occur through skin contact. To assist in determining potential worker exposure and total body burden, Grosvenor Mine implemented an extensive urine sampling and analysis program as this will demonstrate exposure from both inhalation and skin contact. Start of tour, Pre and Post urine sampling was implemented.
The team at Grosvenor Mine and the Contracting Company worked together to implement engineering and administrative controls to minimize worker exposure to polymeric chemicals. An enclosed product delivery process was developed, trialed and implemented on site. This project is not yet finalized; however results from urine sampling and analysis have shown a reduction in worker exposures.
Also during this process we have been working closely with the laboratory performing analysis and have provided this project information to the Polymeric Chemicals RS Sub -committee.
Evan Greenaway – Superintendent CHPP, Anglo American Capcoal
Anthony Duck – Operations Manager, Dust-A-Side Australia Pty Ltd
No matter the industry, whether it’s mining, rail, shipping or agriculture, dealing with dust is unavoidable.
Massive sites with high yields across any industry will have multiple dust generation points. Controlling dust generated during the transport of materials via conveyors and trucks on haul roads presents a unique set of challenges to mining operations.
In situations where there are multiple dust generation points, it’s rarely enough for a site to just wet all material and expect the dust to be controlled throughout each stage of processing.
In this Anglo open cut site and coal handling and processing plant a two-pronged approach incorporating both Dust Prevention and Dust Suppression is being used to control not only the dust you see, but the microscopic dust that you can’t see – the dust that creates health and environmental concerns, and regulatory issues.
While we continue to test its success, we believe this “smart”, flexible, integrated system, combining technology and well-developed products with attention-to-detail management can ultimately reduce dust exposure to people, equipment and environments.
The expertise exists to implement total dust control solutions in any situation. The key is to find the right type of solution for each specific dust generation point.