Top tips for controlling dust in mines and construction projects

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If you’re tasked with containing dust at a mining site or construction site, there are some things you can do to reduce it. Water sprays attached to pneumatic and hydraulic tools can help. These sprays can form a protective curtain around the area, making dust particles heavier and less likely to float in the air. Water also helps with ventilation. If you’re worried about dust, try silt fences, hydro-seeding, and limiting onsite vehicle movement.

Silt fences

Silt fencing is also used to contain ground-level dust that can be blown away by the wind. Silt is relatively stable when wet, but it is easily blown away. Silt fences also prevent erosion around the perimeter of construction sites. Silt fences also help to contain windblown dust created by exposed soil mounds. Silt fences are a great way to prevent windblown dust.

Cannons

Cannons for controlling dust in mines or construction projects are popular for various industrial applications. The misting cannons can control fugitive dust while sealing the surface with an atomized mist. This method reduces dust generation by sealing material surfaces and preventing over-saturation. Misting cannons are also helpful for dust control during the unloading and loading of trucks.

Cannons for dust control are available in various sizes and configurations. Fog cannons are typically self-powered or run on a diesel generator. Fog cannons can be configured to target high-volume dust events. Fog cannons are easily deployed and configured to meet the specific needs of a given site. Fog cannons have a low throw distance and are typically self-configured and portable. They can be configured to spray fog on a wide area. In addition, they can be interlinked to provide a larger coverage area.

Misting cannons are an effective way to control dust while protecting workers. Moreover, they also conserve water by generating a fine mist. The dust generated by the shredder is dispersed into the air through the misting cannon, which helps control the dust emissions.

Hydro-seeding

Hydroseeding for dust control is an effective way to minimize dust pollution and keep conditions safer for workers. It involves applying specialized formulas to the soil. The method is also used in large commercial construction projects, which generate a great deal of dust. Industrial construction contractors use hydro-seeding to comply with regulations and avoid zoning violations.

Hydro-seeding for dust control from Global Road Technology is often preferable in mining and construction sites because it does not require a chemical application. Towers or high-pressure hoses apply the slurry mixture. Once applied, the slurry mixes with the soil to suppress dust and create an effective crust. Several types of tackifiers are used for this purpose, and the best one will depend on the nature of the soil.

Restricting onsite vehicle movement

When dust control is necessary, onsite vehicle movement should be limited, and the use of approved chemical and non-toxic soil stabilizers is required on a site’s windward side. All-inactive construction areas, including unpaved roads, should be treated with a chemical soil stabilizer according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Grading and parking areas for equipment and employees are also essential for dust control.

Those responsible for directing vehicle movements should have proper training and authority. Construction vehicles driven by untrained workers without authority can lead to accidents. 

Dust collection systems

Dust collection systems have become essential to various manufacturing and industrial processes. A dust collection system’s primary function is to minimize workers’ exposure to harmful air pollutants. Depending on the type of work, it may help suppress explosions, reduce fumes, and control odors. Some common dust collection systems are baghouses or cartridges. Fiberglass dust is hazardous because it can irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs. The particle size depends on the type of operation and the material used in its production. Fiberglass dust contains silica and other minerals and is reinforced with resin.

Two general strategies for controlling dust emissions are source collection and centralized collection. The former puts the dust collector at the source of dust emission, while the latter concentrates the air at a central location and discharges it as a separate process stream. The former is more efficient as it requires fewer ducts, screw conveyors, rotary valves, and other equipment to collect dust. Neither type is suitable for every situation, but it is crucial to understand your options.

PPE

Proper PPE for dust control is vital to prevent serious health problems caused by exposure to airborne particles. During construction, dust is an ever-present hazard, so workers are advised to wear protective eyewear and face masks. Construction projects must also invest in dust control equipment, including powerful wet vacuums. It is also wise to hire experienced contractors to minimize dust emissions. If dust is inevitable, PPE must be worn by all workers.

When selecting respiratory protection, choosing a device specifically designed for the task at hand is essential. Using a respirator, for example, may be uncomfortable to wear for extended periods, especially if the worker is cramped. Selecting the correct material safety data sheet (MSDS) for the protective equipment is also necessary. 

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