Dust management, Features

A customer-focused approach to dust management

dust management

Effective dust management is an important operational consideration for Australia’s large and complex resources and construction industries.

Dust control or suppression has a direct link to the health and safety of on-site workers and the general public, positively impacts the productivity and cost-efficiency of industry, and plays a significant role in protecting the environment.

For almost 50 years, Dust-A-Side has been at the forefront of providing site-specific dust control, road management and erosion control systems for multiple industry applications.

The company has developed an extensive range of dust-control products employed across road transportation networks, including haul roads and access roads, as well as engaging in the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of bespoke dust suppression systems within material handling and preparation plants.

Dust-A-Side is also a member of Austmine, a large network of diverse Australian companies involved in the mining equipment, technology and services sector.

“The company has a focus on mining, heavy industry, large civil construction and infrastructure projects,” Neil Hoskin, Dust-A-Side chief operating officer for the Asia-Pacific region, told Safe to Work.

Dust-A-Side specialises in dust-control management systems that move beyond simply applying water to the road surface.

“On most mine sites or heavy construction sites, the standard method of dust suppression is to utilise water,” Hoskin said.

“However, wet roads create other dangers, including vehicle instability and slippage, especially for large haulage trucks.”

By treating the road with a dust suppressant comprising binder properties, the requirement to routinely re-water the road is removed, which helps mitigate uncontrolled vehicle movement as a water-soaked road maintains less friction than a dry road.

Dust-A-Side’s DAS product is a bespoke dust-suppression response especially designed for the mining industry, utilising proprietary bitumen emulsion technology.

The product, manufactured in Australia under licence by Dust-A-Side’s parent company COLAS Group, assists in controlling fugitive dust and stabilises the wearing course layer on permanent haul roads.

“By treating roads with our dust-suppression product, it means that you don’t have to water them as frequently, reducing the potential for uncontrolled vehicle movement,” Hoskin said.

Additional health and safety benefits flow from Dust-A-Side’s road-management solutions.

“The industry encounters a lot of musculoskeletal injuries from vehicle operators moving across poorly-maintained road surfaces,” Hoskin said.

“With our effective road-management solutions, where we can stabilise the road with a proven chemical bond, we can produce smoother surfaces, and reduce these types of injuries.”

In addition to the clear safety advantages associated with this type of technology, other operational benefits include productivity improvements and cost-efficiencies.

Road surface improvements and dust suppression lead directly to reductions in unplanned vehicle downtime as a result of repairs and maintenance.

Aside from roads, Dust-A-Side undertakes vital dust management on mining operations, civil construction sites, quarries and ports, where materials handling requires an integrated solution.

“On mine sites, whether it’s operators in air-conditioned cabs, production and maintenance teams, or nearby communities, we’re engaged in dust reduction and reducing the respirable dust that people are exposed to on the ground,” said Hoskin.

“High dust levels can also have an impact on the environment, and this can be very impactful if it is not identified and effectively managed.”

Beyond the bitumen emulsion DAS product that is applied to road surfaces, Dust-A-Side achieves substantial operational dust reductions via a range of site-specific products.

“Whether it’s in the roads or the materials handling space, we go in and examine the specific project,” Hoskin said.

“If it was a road project, we would test the soil, test the water, we would seek to understand the nature of the construction, and we would formulate specific tailored solutions for the customer based on their requirements.”

Dust-A-Side operates in a holistic manner by delivering custom management service to its customers aiming to deliver measurable results through the most appropriate use of product, application method and equipment.

“We don’t just sell dust-suppression products and technologies; we offer service and know-how,” Hoskin said.

“We have a full-service model, where we can come in and provide a turnkey solution for our clients and we take ownership and accountability, and the client can measure us on their KPIs (key performance indicators), be it dust levels or productivity gains.

“Our managed service model is where our customer wants to undertake the project. We provide a form of active supervision to ensure our technologies are being implemented correctly, as well as manage the ongoing operation through various reporting methods.

“We make sure our product technologies are the right fit for the conditions, and that they are used correctly by our customers in order to get the best results.”

Dust-A-Side has a service-orientated approach that differentiates it in the market and has led to long-standing client relationships in Australia and overseas.

The company is proud of its external accreditation for haulroad and dust-control management services to ISO 9001 quality management, ISO 14001 environmental management and ISO 45001 health and safety.

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