In a previous project a Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) cassette was tested by HSL at Daw Mill and Welbeck collieries and it was shown that the device provided a good measure of exposure to diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEEs) in the presence of coal dust. The method involves collecting, using the DPM cassette, an airborne sample of diesel particulate onto a quartz filter and analysing the filter for elemental carbon (EC). Research has shown that EC provides a good measure of exposure to DEEEs
Normally, laboratory analysis is required but research at HSL has shown that there is a strong relationship between the ‘blackness’ of the filter and the mass of EC on the filter and once this relationship has been determined a good estimate of exposure to DEEEs can be obtained simply by measuring the ‘blackness’ of the filter. Many coalmines already use a BOSCH Smokemeter to monitor tailpipe particulate emissions and this Smokemeter can be simply adapted to measure background or personal exposures to DEEEs, from airborne particulate samples collected with the DPM cassette.
In this project a Guidance Document for coal mines has been produced which provides practical ways in which exposure to DEEEs can be reduced underground in coal mines. It outlines the risks associated with exposure, what the current UK legislation is with regards to exposure and provides some data of EC exposures measured in coal mines and other industries. The document also details how coalmines can measure exposures for themselves using the ‘blackness’ method outlined above.
The Guidance Document can be found on the HSE Website [link to ] (HSL/2005/55 – Controlling and Monitoring Exposure to Diesel Engine Exhaust Emissions in Coal Mines)
The Whole-Body Vibration in Mining Industry Working Group, with members from industry and HSE’s Mines Inspectorate, is pursuing a programme of work aimed at establishing, and where possible, reducing the whole-body vibration exposure of workers in the industry. During 2005 HSL supplied vibration data to a seating manufacturer. The data was required for laboratory tests by the manufacturer of the vibration isolation performance of two suspension seats.
A presentation was also given to the Engineering Liaison Meeting giving an overview of the work to date and the progress made on reducing the exposure of drivers to whole-body vibration.