BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has established significantly lower dust exposure standards than regulatory requirements at the Broadmeadow underground mine in Moranbah, Queensland.
The team has earned global praise for controlling workers exposure to occupational coal mine dust, silica and diesel exhaust.
BMA shared its dust and particulate management practices with the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) and the Queensland Government over a three-day workshop in Moranbah.
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.