Preparing your Dust Control and Suppression Management Plan

Health and Safety officers of mining and construction operations must develop a dust control management plan to ensure employee well-being and satisfy legislative requirements.
Laws such as the Air Quality Act set rigid standards that call for dust control and suppression expertise to comply.

Fortunately, OHSA practitioners can rely on Monitor Engineering for reliable dust control solutions. Monitor Engineering has worked with its principal, Spraying Systems Co USA, supplying dust suppression systems for over 70 years. There is little in the dust control and prevention world that these industry giants have not seen.

Dust Control Governance in South Africa

Fugitive dust can cause serious health problems for employees, ranging from eye and skin irritation to long-term respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological damage. Carcinogenic substances in dust can increase the risk of someone developing various cancers. For this reason, dust control is crucial, so dust management has been written into law.

The National Dust Control Regulations (GNR 827 of 1 November 2013) Reg6 (2) specifies what a dust management plan must contain as per sub-regulation (1).

Within the sub-regulation, point 2 states that the plan must detail the best practicable measures to mitigate dust that will be undertaken. In other words, a business must outline the dust suppression and dust control solutions they will use and illustrate how these solutions confirm dust control best practices.

Monitor Engineering dust control and dust suppression systems comply with the government’s HSE regulations and far surpass the minimum standards. This is of particular importance to operations where crystalline silica dust is produced. Such operations employ the highest quality equipment and solutions to protect their employees.

Dust Control in the ESG Spotlight

With growing international pressure, ESG has been spotlighted in many mining and construction operations. Concerns about the environmental impact of fugitive dust increase the need for enhanced dust control systems tenfold.

This is because dust control minimises the harmful effects of fugitive dust on water sources, vegetation and even infrastructure (dust being abrasive, causing corrosion).

The Commercial Significance of Dust Control

Dust control also protects the commercial interests of a business. Dust control can protect machinery and equipment from premature failure and minimise wear. In the case of precious metal mining, the Engineering & Mining Journal states, “…proper dust control enables mines to reclaim valuable metals contained in dust.”

Wet Dust Suppression Systems

Using our intimate knowledge of dust suppression and control technology, we have developed high-performance dust control systems. Among our developments are advanced spraying nozzles for effective wet dust suppression.

We assist our clients with identifying the optimal wet dust suppression solution with a thorough assessment. We will ask questions about their dust control needs as follows:

  • The source of where dust is produced at the site
  • The process that produces the dust
  • Where dust is being generated within your operation
  • The utilities and resources available at your site

Applications for Spray Technology

It must be noted that wet systems with spray technology are ideal for dust prevention and dust control. Both are critical in promoting a safer, healthier work environment.

  • Dust prevention is a method of increasing the material’s moisture content to avert dust particles becoming airborne.
  • Dust control refers to increasing the moisture or humidity of the air to capture already airborne dust particles.

One must first determine the application, prevention or suppression (i.e. dust control) that needs to be implemented. Following this, one can then choose the most effective delivery method.

There are several factors to consider when selecting a dust control spraying system. These include water quality and reliability, operating pressure, and control options.

Of these, the nozzle greatly impacts the efficacy of dust control spraying systems. The nozzle determines the droplet size of the water and/or chemicals used, making all the difference in dust control.

The Science of Controlling Dust Particles

Dust control requires a keen understanding of the relationship between a dust particle’s size and a water droplet.

To simplify the explanation, whether the drop diameter is larger or comparable to the dust particle will affect how the particle is captured. Dust particles merge with equal-sized water drops.

This is the sphere in which Monitor Engineering has made a name. We assist our clients with assessing the correct combination of nozzle, pressure, flow, and surface tension to achieve the perfect drop size. In doing so, our clients can execute their dust control plan effectively.

Dust Control Crucial in Saving Lives

Dust control regulations are necessary to prevent life-threatening illnesses caused by dust inhalation insofar as possible.

One such disease is Silicosis, caused by inhaling dust that contains crystalline silica particles. The disease is irreversible and incurable, which is why prevention is of utmost importance.

Arguably, dust control is the hardest on haul roads—particularly in South Africa’s sunny climate, where roads dry quickly, and water is scarce. Industries with the most exposure to silica are mining, construction, quarries and pottery manufacturing. Overexposure to respirable crystalline silica has been linked to cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In light of these adverse effects, dust control in the workplace is more than a regulatory requirement but a moral obligation.

Sustainability: Saving Resources While Controlling Dust

It is also essential to preserve resources and the environment. We are, therefore, equally committed to sustainability as we are to effective dust control.

Our dust management solutions are engineered to use minimal water to reduce a negative environmental impact. Where chemicals are required to improve suppression, it is done so responsibly.

Selecting the right system for your application will significantly impact effectiveness, sustainability, and cost savings.

Implementation Details for Your Dust Control Management Plan

Another requirement of the dust management plan per the National Dust Control Regulations is to provide an implementation schedule. Here is another way that Monitor Engineering can help. We are well-versed in supplying mining , construction and civil engineering concerns where accurate planning is pivotal. We understand our clients’ needs and will provide you with any specifications, lead times and other information required to complete your schedule.

Reliable Dust Control Safety

We pride ourselves on making the safest and most reliable dust control solutions available since 1949. If you are looking for dust suppression and control experts that also care about your business operations, compliance and sustainability, contact Monitor Engineering today.