Guidelines to combat dust

The release of surface mining industry association, ASPASA’s, latest dust control guideline raises interesting concerns whether local miners are doing enough to mitigate risks and avoid complications due to non-compliance.

A plethora of environmental and safety requirements surrounds dust generation which requires mines to adopt professional management systems to ensure compliance. ‘Duty of care’ obligations are equally onerous and are arguably more challenging, as they involve community engagement and practices that are founded in common sense and good neighbourliness.

ASPASA Guidelines

The newly released ASPASA Guidelines for Dust Control, deals with broad topics surrounding dust management and lays the basis for a more comprehensive dust management plan (DMP). Even so, the 50-page document is a weighty one that shows the sheer amount of work required in order to manage dust.

The document provides guidelines on everything from roles and responsibilities of mine managers and workers, to designs for dust control and mitigation. It also outlines the responsibilities of suppliers to the industry and identifies the types of machines available that can counter dust at the point of excavation, stockpile and transport.

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It also provides templates of information for most of the documentation required for an effective DMP which makes it easier for smaller mines and quarries who do not have health, safety and environmental officers. An easy-to-use outline, with examples, is provided to establish a DMP and begin the process.

Information is also provided on monitoring of dust as well as a template of a corrective action summary sheet wherever discrepancies have been recorded. The guide is available from ASPASA.

“There is no place for dust in our modern mines and no shortage of solutions to monitor and overcome it when it is generated.”

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