Play Video


Click the large image above to stream this video directly from Vimeo at the best resolution for your device.

If you need to save a copy of the video to your computer, you can click the blue DOWNLOAD VIDEO button and a copy of the video file will be downloaded to your hard drive. The file is an mp4 file in 720p HD format (suitable for projection to a large screen) and will take some time to download. Please be patient.

If you experience any problem with either option please email Doug or Ed for personal assistance.

Approaches to Control Worker Dust Exposure During Maintenance Activities Where Compressed Air is Used to “Clean” Equipment

Simon Worland – Occupational Hygienist


Use of compressed air to blow out or “clean” electrical cabinets is a routine maintenance task across the Queensland Coal Industry. Elevated levels of harmful dust can engulf the blow out operator for extended periods and increase the risk of developing lung diseases including Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis and silicosis.

In 2017 the Queensland Mines Inspectorate reported that approximately 50% of all respirable dust and Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) exceedances in surface coal mines was directly related to the use of compressed air for cleaning down enclosures and equipment during maintenance activities.

Respiratory protection has historically been viewed as the primary control to protect the health of blow out operators as dust controls at the engineering level or above have not been considered to be feasible.

Blow out of electrical cabinets on Komatsu 960E haul trucks have been targeted for an engineering dust control project at Hail Creek Mine. The project has focussed on the following areas:
• Sealing of cabinets
• Application of positive pressure
• Local exhaust ventilation / vacuuming
• Identification of alternative cleaning methods
• Measurement of control performance

This paper describes the dust control project along future direction for application of common principles to other equipment such as draglines and excavators.