Mining and Dust Collection
Introduction to Dust Collection in Mining
The mining industry has had a challenging few years. Fluctuating demand and a lack of financing have kept the industry mired in uncertainty. Issues like the impact of China and the world’s changing energy sources have created further confusion. The news isn’t all bad, however: a recent infrastructure bill promises more than $300 billion to transportation projects. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (known as the FAST Act) was signed in late 2015 and should move the needle a little.
Whether mining is booming or busting, one thing is certain: industry professionals are more mindful than ever of the need for protecting health and safety. In particular, operators understand the importance of good air quality. They are also aware of recent changes in regulations that will likely affect them, including changes from both the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). For example, in 2016 OSHA changed its rules surrounding silica dust, a move that will affect many mining operations. OSHA’s new rule cuts the permissible exposure limit (PEL) by half. The new limit is 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, measured as an 8-hour time-weighted average. OSHA estimates the new rule could prevent hundreds of deaths and illnesses. Many mining operators who deal with silica dust will be scrambling to meet this new regulation.