Greater protections across Australian mining sites needed to protect workers from airborne dust

February 23, 2021 Sponsored

Dust control at mining sites is firmly back on the national agenda as recent cases of silicosis increase union pressure to ramp
up health and safety measures to protect all workers exposed to deadly silica dust.

For leading Australian mining and civil services firm Global Road Technology (GRT) its focus on dust control in surface mines, using engineering techniques and product solutions consistent with the controls outlined by Recognised Standard 20 ensures it is well placed to enhance the health and safety of Australian mining workers. This legislation has a particular focus on dust control in surface mines, as respirable dust is one of the main health hazards for coal mining operations.

It is of relevance, in the context of Queensland as a jurisdiction where opencast coal mining is much more predominant than underground mining.

As a direct result of its experiences in this field, GRT has invested heavily for over 10-years, in developing products and solutions that meet the strictest government guidelines, so when governments across Australia strengthened legislation in 2019 to put pressure on firms to have comprehensive dust control management strategies, the firm was well-placed to provide turnkey ready solutions for mining operators in Australia.

GRT cements reputation as a world-leader in air pollution control

GRT General Manager, Daniel Grundy believes that dust suppression needs to be a core focus of Australia’s miners as the recent case of Joanna McNeill illustrates the all-pervasive danger of inhaling crystalline silica to onsite workers – even those team members who are not involved in mineral extraction.

“Last week’s sobering media profile on mother of two Joanna McNeill, highlights the dangers of airborne dust not only for staff onsite but also communities close to mine and quarry sites – this is a wake-up call for greater protections to protect people from the dangers of uncontrolled, airborne dust,” said Mr Grundy.

“Our products, services, and equipment have been developed to focus on hazard reduction, aimed at eliminating dust at the source, that’s why we fully support the enforcement of Recognised Standard 20 – and its extension into all mining and extractive industries. GRT has placed the elimination of dust before it is generated as the apex of our general strategy and to achieve this, we implement whole of site management plans, – combining products, equipment, training, and oversight to provide a comprehensive solution to this problem for Australian miners – enabling them to meet the requirements of standards such as Recognised Standard 20.”

GRT is a world leader in the development of infrastructure and process solutions for the mining, civil and agricultural sectors that minimise safety issues and can be applied across various soil types – making it extremely adaptable – a major reason for its usage within the Australian mining sector.

It has developed a range of innovative chemical additives – GRT: Haul-Loc, GRT: Activate UG, GRT: Ore-Loc, and GRT: Wet-Loc designed specifically for managing and containing dust for the purpose of protecting workers on mining sites and nearby residents and landholders from airborne dust pollution and disease.

For Daniel Grundy, the recent news around silicosis reaffirms his desire for the firm to cement its place as an industry leader in supporting the mining sector to reduce the risk of workers being exposed to hazardous dust particles and providing a whole-of-site solution to workplace health and safety.

“Our approach is driven by a desire to ensure dust control solutions lie at the heart of all mining site health and safety plans,” Mr Grundy said.

“For coal mining, we understand that you cannot change the nature of coal, but you can transform the water used for dust suppression to capture it to eliminate the hazard before it can become a threat. It is this ability to adapt to various environmental and mine-site conditions that sets us apart from our competitors and why we’ve become the industry leaders in dust control solutions for Australian miners – we are passionate about industry-leading solutions for these problems and will always work with the latest legislation to deliver these.”

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