BHP’s BMA Broadmeadow underground mine has attracted global attention for its focus on dust and particulate exposure reduction at its Moranbah operations in Queensland.
The mine hosted a three-day workshop at the Isaac region site, sharing its dust and particulate management practices with the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the Queensland Government.
BHP and BMA have been leaders in dust and particulate exposure reduction with their establishment of coal mine dust, silica and diesel exhaust exposure standards, which are significantly lower than the regulatory requirements.
Rob McDonald, Vice President Health and Hygiene, Group HSE, said BHP and BMA representatives had played leading roles in the workshop, given our strong commitment to dust and particulate exposure reduction, as evidenced by the establishment of coal mine dust, silica and diesel exhaust exposure standards significantly lower than regulatory requirements.
ICMM health and safety manager Mark Holmes thanked the BMA Broadmeadow team for sharing their safety insights and the team’s dedication for excellent safety standards.
“Sharing the journey the operation has been through to get some truly impressive reduction in diesel particulate matter exposures was genuinely awe-inspiring,” Holmes said.
“The work done at Broadmeadow is world-class and provides an example to the rest of the industry on what can be achieved, driven by the value to have your workers come home healthy and safe every day.”
Mining dust can cause a range of health issues, ranging from eye, skin and respiratory irritation in minor cases to serious lung diseases including silicosis, coal workers pneumoconiosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and in extreme cases, lung cancer.
BHP has been working on dust management for many years across its sites, having invested about $400 million into dust prevention across its mines and ports.
The main dust management method is ensuring enough moisture is added to ore to prevent dust lift-off.
The company also has an ongoing program aiming to seal all unsealed roads and open spaces.
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