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MSHA Enforcement: RESPA-SD saves Underground Silica Mine Thousands in MSHA Fines with Respirable Crystalline Silca (RCS) Exposure reduced from high of 667% of Personal Exposure Limit (PEL) to as low as 37% of PEL.

MSHA Enforcement: RESPA-SD saves Underground Silica Mine thousands in MSHA Fines with Respirable Crystalline Silca (RCS) Exposure reduced from high of 667% of Personal Exposure Limit (PEL) to as low as 37% of PEL.

A Caterpillar 330CL excavator operating  as a scaler in an underground Silica Mine in Wisconsin, USA, was out of compliance each of the five times that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) tested the average daily exposure rate of the operator to respirable crystalline silica (RCS). Prior to the installation of the RESPA-SD , the excavator not only failed every time it was tested, but it failed by a rather dramatic margin. Each of the tables shown below are the actual MSHA test reports as shown on the MSHA website for the specific mine and machine tested.

Table “A”- Prior to RESPA

 

MSHA Mine Inspection: Personal Health Sampling Results
Date Location Job Contam Concent PEL PPE  Action          %            Below            PEL         
10/31/2009 UG - Active prod Scaling (mech) Quartz, respirable, > 1% Qtz 0.43 0.21 Y C (Citation order issued) 205% of PEL
08/25/2009 UG - Active prod Scaling (mech) Quartz, respirable, > 1% Qtz 1.32 0.21 Y C (Citation order issued) 629% of PEL
12/16/2008 UG - Active prod Scaling (mech) Quartz, respirable, > 1% Qtz 1.06 0.70 Y C (Citation order issued) 151% of PEL
10/28/2008 UG - Active prod Scaling (mech) Quartz, respirable, > 1% Qtz 1.03 0.41 Y C (Citation order issued) 251% of PEL
07/16/2008 UG - Active prod Scaling (mech) Quartz, respirable, > 1% Qtz 2.20 0.33 Y C (Citation order issued) 667% of PEL

 Failing results listed in red 

The last time the machine failed it received a D-Citation and the machine was removed from operation  until it could be brought into compliance. Each of the citations was accompanied by a substantial fine.

The mine operator sealed the cab and was still unable to get the cab to meet the exposure limits.

The RESPA-SD was properly installed on the sealed cab on 11/5/2009. MSHA tested the operator of the cab on 11/17 and 11/18 and for the first time since the excavator began operation at the mine it  passed the MSHA test. It was released to full operation in the mine. Since that time was again inspected on 2/3/2010 and was still under the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL).

Table "B"- After RESPA

 

MSHA Mine Inspection: Personal Health Sampling Results
Date Location Job Contaminant Concentration PEL PPE Code % Below PEL
02/03/2010 UG - Active prod Scaling (mech) Quartz, respirable, > 1% Qtz 0.25 0.26 Y   96% of PEL
11/18/2009 UG - Active prod Scaling (mech) Quartz, respirable, > 1% Qtz 0.71 1.47 Y   48% of PEL
11/17/2009 UG - Active prod Scaling (mech) Quartz, respirable, > 1% Qtz 0.18 0.49 Y   37% of PEL

Worth noting:

  • The cost of the RESPA-SD installation was less than one of the MSHA fines.
  • As the filter loads, cab pressurisation is reduced. This problem is easily solved by a changing the fresh and recirculation filtration. 
  • The concentrations go up and down dependent on the actions of the operator on the day of the MSHA test. The number times the operator opens the cab door will also affect how much silica is brought into the cab.
  • This was an RESPA-SD installation which filters only the fresh air. With an upgrade to the RESPA-SDX System (which addresses the fresh AND recirculation air) the silica concentrations would be dramatically reduced even further. Filtering all of recirculation air within 2 minutes after the door is shut through high efficiency filtration dramatically reduces the concentrations of silica in the cab. This is proactive approach which leads to short decay times (the period of time it takes for the silica to fall or be taken out of the air) The RESPA-SD+SDX System is the most effective solution and should be used on cabs that cannot be brought into compliance with the RESPA-SD fresh air system.

MSHA Enforcement of Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)

MSHA is very serious about the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL). They are actively testing and citing out of compliance cabs. Fines associated with a citation run from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. D-Citations put the machine out of commission, compounding the mine owners expense associated with downtime on critical equipment.

The good news is that Sy-Klone developed RESPA in conjunction with NIOSH to provide a low cost engineering control to help bring machines into PEL compliance. There is nothing on the market today that incorporates the unique, patented Precleaner particle-separation technology into a low cost highly effective fresh and recirculation air Cab Air Quality System like RESPA-SD and RESPA-SDX.

RESPA-SD+ SDX+ICPSensor "Clean Air" Systems are the least expensive AND most effective tools available to mine owners for air quality improvement in operator Cabins. See our Product Informaiton.

If you require further information. please contact us


MSHA Enforcement: RESPA-SD saves Underground Silica Mine thousands in MSHA fines

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