CCH Australia Limited
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences / Occupational Health Research Group
Dust monitoring data collected over a period of 5 years at a remote Australian mine site were pooled in order to create a large data set for analysis. Results adjusted for a 12-hour shift were compared to exposure standards and 90% of the respirable and 97% of the inhalable dust samples were found to be within the exposure standards. Median values appear to better describe exposures than the mean which is influenced by outliers. There was a declining trend in respirable dust results over time. However, inhalable dust levels remained fairly constant over the sampling period. Inhalable dust levels were higher during the winter, yet respirable dust was elevated in the spring. Regulators need to work with practitioners in order to design dust monitoring protocols that address sampling limitations and assist mining operations to fulfil their obligations in terms of occupational hygiene monitoring and protection of their workers.