Controlling dust on quarries and mining sites is becoming an increasingly important consideration for operators. As well as having various health and safety legislations to adhere to for the safety of their workers and nearby residents. Excessive airborne dust can damage machinery on site, leading to expensive repairs and in turn loss of revenue through having to cease work.
Dust is created from various processes on quarry and mining sites whilst the materials are being sourced, crushed, screened, transported and stored – so it’s important to have a solution that can be implemented easily at any stage of material processing.
If you’re struggling with excessive dust on your quarry or mining site – read the post below.
How Do You Suppress Dust On Quarries And Mining Sites?
There are a number of methods that have developed over the years, from chemical sprays to foam and fog systems, however, water is the oldest, the most efficient and cost effective methods of dust suppression in most applications.
Particles ranging from 0.1 to around 70 microns (0.07mm) can become airborne with just a light breeze alone, these are the particles that can become hazardous to workers and the public. Additionally, these particles can be carried out by vehicles moving materials off site.
By spraying water onto these particles they increase in weight and can no longer be carried away by air movement.
A Portable On Demand Solution
Our LRI 50 portable irrigation system is our recommended solution for dust suppression in quarries and mining sites. The LRI 50 is the only unit currently available that can enable a large rain gun to operate on a standard mains supply.
This unit is favoured by sports venues and is regularly used by large equestrian centres and riding schools to serve the same purpose during the summer months.
Avoid Excessive Water
Whilst water is our recommended solution for dust suppression, too much water can cause dust to stick to materials, causing further problems down the production line. For example, excess water can cause larger particles to stick to conveyor belts when being processed, or cause problems when loading, transporting and unloading the materials.
The fine nozzle spray of the LRI 50 eliminates these issues, suppressing dust without delivering excess water to the materials. Additionally, the ease of movement of the system means you can target specifically on problem areas without covering the whole site in water.
Another problem quarry and site managers may face with dust suppression systems is the lack of water pressure available water supply, fortunately, this system runs on a 12V battery and can operate even under poor water supplies or insufficient water pressure.
Prevent Carrying Dust Off Site
Another issue that arises with dust on quarries and mining sites is vehicles carrying dust out that is stuck to the wheels and body of the vehicle. To prevent this, we recommend hosing down the vehicles near the entrance of the site – some quarries and mining sites have even had sprinkler systems set up at the entrance to wash down any vehicle coming in or out of the site.
Health and Safety Considerations
Dust on quarries and mining sites can’t be completely eliminated due to the nature of the work, but failing to control it can put workers at risk. Silica, for example, is a fine dust found in almost every kind of rock – workers who are frequently exposed to this substance carried in dust can develop chronic lung diseases such as silicosis.
There are a number of guidance steps from the HSE that you can undertake to prevent workers being put at risk:
- Suppress dust adequately to prevent airborne dust affecting workers.
- Fit drill rigs with appropriate dust extraction
- Any hand drilling such as power saws should not be used to cut dry material.
- Cabs in vehicles should be kept clean with vacuum systems.
- Plant control rooms should be kept clean and filtered at a positive air pressure.
Talk To The Experts
If you want to find out more about how the LRI 50 can suppress dust on your quarry or mining site, or if you are experiencing pump breakdown on site – give one of our expert team a call on 0117 954 8030 to discuss your individual requirements and find a solution that works for you.