Mines can now monitor worker exposure to hazardous respirable crystalline silica (RCS) more effectively thanks to new software developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Mining Program in beta version. This novel, field-based tool called the Field Analysis of Silica Tool (FAST), works together with commercially available Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) analyzers to determine a worker’s exposure to RCS dust, providing detailed results immediately following a worker’s shift.
Mineworkers face the danger of potential overexposure to respirable crystalline silica dust every day. Overexposure can lead to the development of diseases such as silicosis, lung cancer, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (commonly known as black lung), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These diseases are disabling, irreversible, and potentially fatal.
Key to controlling RCS at mines is the ability to quickly assess the degree of exposure. Traditional methods require mines to send samples to a commercial laboratory for analysis and wait for the results to be returned. Because the conditions in mines change constantly, however, immediate RCS results are needed to establish when and where high concentrations exist and to ensure that, when they do, they do not persist across shifts. The new software coupled with the FTIR analyzer allows for these immediate results.
“FAST provides a vital link for mines seeking better RCS monitoring tools by bringing the laboratory to the field,” said NIOSH Associate Director for Mining Jessica Kogel.
The FAST software is designed to work in concert with an easily implemented monitoring approach also developed by NIOSH, which uses portable FTIR analyzers and dust-sampling cassettes at the mine site.
Read the full story here.
Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.
10 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Through this workshop, attendees will go through the different processes involved in strategic planning including the elements of organizational SWOT, business scenario and options development, elaboration of strategic options and communication to stakeholders.
1 Nov 2019
- Bali, Indonesia
Registration Coming Soon
9 - 11 Nov 2019
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
The programme combines expert input, case studies, and immersive scenarios from the E&P and other industries to embed your learning and enable you to progress to the next level of your career.
Safety Leadership focuses on the ‘Human Factors’ (HF) which complement technical training to optimize reliability, safety, compliance, efficiency and risks within a team-based environment.
11 - 12 Sep 2019
- Bakersfield, California, USA
Combine engineering with computer programming in this 2-day course
3 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Being Human - reserve your place at this one-day course
3 - 4 Oct 2019
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For a better understanding of geomechanical factors, attend this course
HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.
©2003-2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All Rights Reserved.