Real-time Dust Monitoring for Safer Mines

One of the most significant challenges in mining is miners’ dust exposure, which is why personal and environmental monitoring of dust is used in mines. However, the regulatory-approved monitoring process from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) can often take weeks to obtain results. This can make it difficult to pinpoint when, where and how exposure to dust is occurring. This is why Peabody has been testing a new, real-time method of dust monitoring at surface locations to be used in conjunction with MSHA-approved processes.

Peabody, a leading coal producer, teamed up with Applied Particle Technology (APT) to create a real-time dust monitoring system that is being used in Peabody’s El Segundo Mine in New Mexico. Unlike traditional monitoring, which takes the average of the data and often takes weeks for results to return from labs, the new system allows for real-time analysis to help make timely decisions concerning dust exposure. The wearable, wireless monitors send data to a cloud engine for review, and the data allows workers to pinpoint when higher exposures are occurring during a shift. This can help identify problems concerning dust during shifts and modify procedures to increase worker safety. Learn more in this CORESafety TV interview.