Development of a method of statistical analysis and reporting framework for Coal Services monitoring of airborne dust data for the New South Wales Coal Industry

Mining it is an ancient occupation that has been long recognised as being arduous and liable to injury and disease. Historically, one of the concerns was coal workers exposure to dust and the development of coal workers pneumoconiosis.

In the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) the Hygiene Service of Coal Services Pty Ltd have been undertaking personal gravimetric and airborne dust monitoring in all NSW coal mines since 1983 to measure and report exposures to inhalable and respirable dust. Since 2001, this monitoring is conducted on a regular, scheduled basis in accordance with Order 42.1 The results are stored in a specific database. Following each instance of monitoring each mine is provided with regular report (mg/m3) which identifies any exceedance of the occupational exposure limit. If the monitoring identifies that additional, specific follow up action is required at a mine a report is provided to the Standing Dust Committee. To date, no further use is made of these results that are a valuable source of data.

Conclusion: The Coal Services Occupational Hygiene database is an invaluable resource. To improve the use and quality of reporting back to stakeholders we put forward an alternative standardised report which presents the sampling data in a more user friendly way.