OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 36 Mining

Section 601 Combustible dust

Subsection 601(1)

Dust generated by conveyors can be very fine and can easily become airborne. If not controlled as required by the OHS Code, much of it will eventually accumulate along the length of the conveyor, especially at the return end. Accumulations can also occur at the drive end due to spillage. If allowed to accumulate, dust can come into contact with moving parts and the resulting friction can create heat and fire leading to a possible explosion.

Belt cleaning devices should be located where the dust can be safely collected and disposed of at regular intervals.

Subsection 601(2)

The discharge of coal and similar materials generally produces dust that can be dangerous to workers’ health. Dust can also create visibility problems when disturbed by air movement. Enclosed chutes and dust control measures at transfer and discharge points can help minimize the spread of dust. Figure 36.16 shows both a chute and transfer point. Decreasing the fall distance for loose material reduces the generation of dust as does the use of water spray or dust suppression chemicals. Note that water is not very effective on coal dust.

Figure 36.16 Conveyor chute and transfer point