One of the environmetal concerns for underground mines is airborne dust. If dust is inhaled into the lungs it can cause numerous health problems. The permittable levels of airborne dust can be found in the New South Wales Coal Mining Regulations Act 1982 (CMRA 1982). (also available as pdf)
There are several techniques used in order to control the amount of airborne dust in the mine environment:
- Prevention and Control – Minimizing the production of dust by mining machines
- Dilution – Use of adequate ventialtion
- Suppression – Use of water sprays and other techniques
- Changing the operator’s position – Use of remote control operation of certain machinery
- Personnel Protection – Use of dust respirators.