Sources of dust and contributing factors
We are progressing regulatory changes to reduce occupational exposure levels of respirable dust at coal mines to 2.5mg/m3. Find out more about the proposed exposure level changes.
Dust particles are generated and can become airborne during many of the extraction and processing activities associated with producing and processing rock and mineral products.
These activities include:
- loading and tipping
- crushing, conveying and screening
- cutting and sawing
- cleaning and maintaining fixed and mobile plant.
Mine workers can be exposed to dust particles that differ in chemical composition, such as:
- dust containing crystalline silica
- coal dust
- dust containing metals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic
The geology of the rock and mining activities to extract and process the rock will determine the type and quantity of dust particles generated.