Dust monitoring data

From 1 January 2017, amendments to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2001 require all Queensland coal mines to provide quarterly respirable dust data to the Department of Natural Resources and Mines’ Chief Inspector of Coal Mines.

The graphs below represent respirable dust data for the first quarter of 2017, in addition to 4 previous quarters of data where this is available.

The datasets are presented for similar exposure groups (SEGs). These identify groups of workers who have the same general exposure to risk, for example because they perform similar tasks or use the same types of materials or processes.

While public disclosure of respirable dust data for specific mines is restricted under coal mining health and safety legislation, Queensland coal mines are required to display dust data at their mine sites in a location easily viewable by the mine’s workers.

Information that could identify individual mine sites has been omitted from the graphs below and a random number assigned to each mine.

Respirable dust

Respirable dust is very fine dust which is able to reach the lower regions of the lung. It is generally 10 microns or less in diameter.

The results of the monitoring program for the 2 highest-risk SEGs from underground and surface operations are shown below. The graphs show the average exposure of the SEG to respirable dust over the previous quarter. Each vertical bar represents a different mine site.

The graphs also show the Occupational Exposure Level (OEL) at 3mg/m3, as well as a shift-adjusted OEL of 2.8 mg/m3 for miners working more than 40 hours per week.

Note: Some datasets are less than the statistically significant 6 samples and are therefore provided as a guide only to ensure a full data set is represented.

Underground sites

Longwall workers SEG

Graph of respirable dust levels in underground coal mines for the longwall workers SEG

Respirable dust levels in underground coal mines for the longwall workers SEG

Development workers SEG

Graph of respirable dust levels in underground coal mines for the development workers SEG

Respirable dust levels in underground coal mines for the development workers SEG

Surface sites

Blast crew workers SEG

Graph of respirable dust levels in surface coal mines for the blast crew workers SEG

Respirable dust levels in surface coal mines for the blast crew workers SEG

Blast hole drillers SEG

Graph of respirable dust levels in surface coal mines for the blast hole drillers SEG

Respirable dust levels in surface coal mines for the blast hole drillers SEG

Total exceedances for respirable dust

The following graphs show the number of times that the OEL or the shift-adjusted OEL was exceeded across all sites (underground and surface operations) and the percentage of exceedances per mine.

Total number of exceedances

Graph of total number of exceedances of respirable dust OELs in coal mines

Total number of exceedances of respirable dust OELs in coal mines

Total percentage of exceedances

Graph of percentage of exceedances of respirable dust OELs in coal mines

Percentage of exceedances of respirable dust OELs in coal mines

Respirable crystalline silica (quartz)

The results of the monitoring program for the 2 highest-risk SEGs from underground and surface operations are shown below. The graphs show the average exposure of the SEG to respirable crystalline silica (quartz) over the previous quarter. Each vertical bar represents a different mine site.

The graphs also show the OEL at 0.1mg/m3, as well as a shift-adjusted OEL of 0.09mg/m3 for miners more than 40 hours per week.

Underground sites

Longwall workers SEG

Graph of respirable crystalline silica levels at underground coal mines for the longwall workers SEG

Respirable crystalline silica levels at underground coal mines for the longwall workers SEG

Development workers SEG

Graph of respirable crystalline silica levels at underground coal mines for the development workers SEG

Respirable crystalline silica levels at underground coal mines for the development workers SEG

Note: Mine 13 in 2016-Q3 recorded two high single exceedances which resulted in an average of 1 mg/m3 RCS for this period. These exceedances were addressed directly with the site and results since show good control. With very high variation in the data (GSD 10.16), this is associated with low sample numbers, therefore this has been provided for information and completeness of data.

Surface sites

Blast crew workers SEG

Graph of respirable crystalline silica levels at surface coal mines for the blast crew workers SEG

Respirable crystalline silica levels at surface coal mines for the blast crew workers SEG

Blast hole drillers SEG

Graph of respirable crystalline silica levels at surface coal mines for the blast hole drillers workers SEG

Respirable crystalline silica levels at surface coal mines for the blast hole drillers workers SEG

Total exceedances for respirable crystalline silica (quartz)

The following graphs show the number of times that the OEL or the shift-adjusted OEL was exceeded across all sites (underground and surface operations) and the percentage of exceedances per mine.

Total number of exceedances

Graph of total number of exceedances of OEL for respirable crystalline silica

Total number of exceedances of OEL for respirable crystalline silica

Total percentage of exceedances

Graph of percentage of exceedances of OEL for respirable crystalline silica

Percentage of exceedances of OEL for respirable crystalline silica

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