1. Australia
  2. 3M Safety
  3. Safety Stories
  4. Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 63.
3M Safety


  • share

    Science of Safety Podcast: Episode 63.

    December 12, 2019



    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 63:
    Coal Dust - Part 2.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 63:
    Coal Dust - Part 2.

    Science of Safety Podcast.

    Episode 63:
    Coal Dust - Part 2.

    In this episode host Mark Reggers and guest Peter Knott, occupational hygienist with GCG Consulting continue where they left off and resume their discussion on the subject matter of coal dust.

    Coal dust is a fine powdered form of coal which is created by the crushing, grinding or pulverising of coal during mining, handling and transportation. Coal dust exposure is hazardous to mine workers, placing them at risk of developing a dust-related lung disease, in particular, Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP), commonly known as ‘black lung disease’.




    Guest Bio:

    Peter Knott (pictured left) is a Certified Occupational Hygienist and has been a full member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists since 1994. His experience spans a wide variety of industries having been employed in aluminium smelting and fabrication, power generation, mining and technology sectors in Australia and overseas. He currently provides consulting services in Occupational Hygiene to a range of clients in Australia and internationally.

    Peter has represented industry bodies on Australian Standards committees for workplace atmospheres, respiratory protection and hearing protection. He has published or presented on a variety of topics such as exposure standards, biological monitoring, respiratory and hearing protection, diesel particulate matter, bioaerosol transmission and provided technical direction into the development of a recently patented aerosol monitoring instrument.

    Peter has tertiary qualifications in Chemistry, Environmental Health and Epidemiology, and is currently a doctoral student in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Newcastle.

    LinkedIn Profile

    In this episode, part 2 of 2, Mark & Peter discuss the following:

    • Are there workplace exposure standards for inhalable and respirable coal dust?
    • Does this change for those working shifts longer than 8 hours which would be very common in industry?
    • We spoke previously in another podcast we did together about exposure monitoring. How is coal dust exposure monitoring done? Is it different for inhalable and respirable coal dust?
    • Control measures are critical for any workplace hazard, so going down the hierarchy of control what are some controls that mines and those handling coal should consider?
    • How are water sprays used in capturing coal dust?
    • What does a scrubber system do?
    • What impact does worker positioning have on exposure to coal dust?
    • Can automation be used as part of the controls?
    • What type and filters are suitable for coal dust? RPP, Clean shaven fit testing, etc.?
    • What key take away would you want to leave for our listeners today?
    • Where can listeners go to get further information on Coal dust controls?

    Coal mining can be a dangerous activity, producing dust from its mining and handling operations that are hazardous to workers well-being. Coal dust particles can be inhaled placing operators at risk of developing a range of lung conditions and related health problems, particularly black lung disease. There is no specific treatment or cure for black lung, it all boils down to how much you’re getting exposed to and for how long, the higher the level of exposure, the greater the risk. Tune in as we look at the topic of coal dust and black lung disease and discuss the monitoring, controls and respiratory protective equipment required to bring exposure levels down to as low as reasonably practicable.


    Additional Resources:

    Contact a 3M Safety Specialist at scienceofsafetyanz@mmm.com for more information.