Mining Dust Collection
Mining dust collection presents several special challenges. First, mining operations are regulated not only by the EPA but also by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). This is a branch of the Department of Labor, like OSHA, but focused on mining. Mining may put workers at serious risk of silicosis and black lung disease.
Second, mining is often a large-scale application with many different sources of dust. Mining dust control must be flexible and able to withstand heavy use. Mining dust can be rough and abrasive. It can also be very fine and airborne.
Because there is no one-size-fits-all system for mining dust collection, your system will be designed for your specific application. Mining processes that produce dust may include:
- Conveyor and belt transfer points
- Excavation sites
- Crushers and hammer mills
- Ball mills
- Weightbelt feeders
Mining has historically been a dangerous application. Great advances in safety have been made, but lung disease continues to be an issue due to heavy dust exposure. OSHA’s new limits on silica exposure increase the importance of dust control.
Rock dust from mining doesn’t usually carry a major risk for fire or explosion. However, coal dust and some other materials are combustible. Appropriate fire and explosion protection may be necessary to meet NFPA and OSHA standards as well as MSHA standards for mining.
Many mining areas have seen a resurgence in black lung disease. Mining dust collection protects the lives of miners. It also protects companies from costly accidents resulting from excessive dust accumulation.