A new technical standard, ISO 23875 (ISO/DIS 23875) Mining — Operator enclosures — Air quality control systems and air quality performance testing are likely to bring about a range of significant changes on how equipment designers and mine operators should maintain the air quality in mining equipment cabins.
The new standard is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2021 and will focus a ‘cradle to grave’ approach for air quality and potentially bring about consistency in cabin air performance, ultimately reducing exposures to airborne particulates for plant and equipment operators.
The new ISO 23875 standard seeks to “address the fundamental design requirements that will allow for operator enclosures to perform at a level that provides sustained air quality, reducing concentrations of respirable particulate matter and carbon dioxide that are harmful to human health.”
ISO 23875 focuses on three areas in the product lifecycle including:
- design of the cabin air handling system;
- cabin air quality control system performance testing; and
- maintenance and operation instructions for the operator enclosure/cabin.
AMSJ believes the new standard is likely to place a greater emphasis on the air quality inside the cabin than previously addressed. This means designers and operators will need to consider aspects of control of airborne contaminants such as dust but also address the effects of CO2 (a product of human respiration) dilution in the cabin environment.
Method for measuring CO2 in-cabin air specified
It is expected that the final version of ISO 23875 will specify methods for measuring CO2 in the air together with particulate matter. It aims to provide a means for calculating external air from CO2 concentrations in the cabin.
Compliant cabins will require continuous monitoring of CO2 Concentrations and alert devices that advise operators when an exceedance has occurred. Higher CO2 exposure is known to affect the cognition of high-level tasks at work. Cabin pressure level monitoring will also be required under the new standard.
Gases and vapours that may be a hazard in the work environment, outside of the operator enclosure are excluded in the draft standard.
The following related international standards are linked against ISO 23875.
- ISO 5353, Earth-moving machinery, and tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry — Seat index point
- ISO/IEC 17050-1:2004, Conformity assessment — Supplier’s declaration of conformity — Part 1: General requirements
- ISO 18158, Workplace air — Terminology
- ISO 29463-1, High-efficiency filters and filter media for removing particles from air — Part 1: Classification, performance, testing and marking
- ISO 29463-2, High-efficiency filters and filter media for removing particles in air — Part 2: Aerosol production, measuring equipment and particle-counting statistics
- ISO 29463-3, High-efficiency filters and filter media for removing particles in air — Part 3: Testing flat sheet filter media
- ISO 29463-4:2011, High-efficiency filters and filter media for removing particles in air — Part 4: Test method for determining leakage of filter elements-Scan method
- ISO 29463-5, High-efficiency filters and filter media for removing particles in air — Part 5: Test method for filter elements
AMSJ will update readers on the implementation of the new international standard as it is released in 2021.
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