Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Cram, K, Respirable Dust Results From NSW Longwall Mines, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 2003: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2003, 203-211.


An outline of airborne dust sampling methodology, instrumentation and exposure standards in the New South Wales coalmining industry are presented combined with the results of dust monitoring of the mining industry workforce with particular emphasis on longwalls. The overall improvements to workforce exposure levels and the systems and techniques which led to these improvements are dealt with, as are respirable quartz levels, together with sources and difficulties of compliance with the Coal Mines Regulation Act (CMRA) 1982 requirements. The non-punitive nature of the regulations combined with the mutual co-operation between management and unions in the interpretation and use of monitoring program results, to achieve overall improvements in airborne dust levels throughout the industry is examined. Results are presented covering long wall, continuous miner and open cut / surface operations. Periodic health screening and results of epidemiology studies of the workforce by Coal Services Health (formerly the Joint Coal Board) indicate adherence to current maximum exposure levels is sufficient to maintain a healthy industry workforce.

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