Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Earlier this year, the Mining Regulator, Occupational Hygiene Inspectors of Resources Health & Safety Queensland (RSHQ) conducted an audit against the Recognized Standard 20 (RS20) – Dust Control in Surface Mines. 25 sites were inspected, 44% of all coal mines, with every coal company having at least one site audited/inspected. The findings were astounding!
Key findings included:
80% of Cabin ventilation systems on HME did not meet the requirements of RS20 2019 s 6(5);
Risk Management process applied to the control of dust was inadequate and / or did not comply with legislative requirements generally RS20 2019 s 5;
The site did not have a Dust Management Plans in place that satisfied the requirements of RS20 2019 s 5(2);
Inadequate systems in place for the inspection and maintenance of dust controls RS20 2019 s 9;
Training of CMWs did not meet the requirements of RS20 2019 s 11.
Having a holistic Safety, Health Management System including effective design, implementation, testing, checking and maintenance of the system is essential. This is where ISO 23875 comes in and has a significant role to play in preventing dust exposures to operators working in cabs. It is an end to end Standard to prevent and sustain operator exposure to hazardous dust. The RSHQ is planning on including the ISO 23875 Standard in the next revision of RS20.