The role of the Standing Dust Committee is to:
The Standing Dust Committee meets every two months to review all dust exceedances, including factors that may be contributing to the exceedances. There is also a review of any investigations and controls that may have been implemented following exceedances. This information is distributed across the industry via committee members that represent industry stakeholders.
In the decade leading up to the creation of the Joint Coal Board (now Coal Services), the problem of dust-related lung disease amongst coalmine workers attracted widespread public attention, resulting in the 1939 Royal Commission into Health and Safety recommending a minimum dust concentration standard.
The creation of the Joint Coal Board in 1947 provided greater institutional and government commitment to enforcing compliance with this dust standard and the Board began to manage dust suppression techniques and practices that had been mandated by amendments to the Coal Mines Regulation Act. At that time, pneumoconiosis prevalence was 16 per cent (all categories) and 4.5 per cent (category two or worse).
The Standing Committee on Dust Research and Control was established by the Joint Coal Board in 1954 to drive the strategic monitoring of dust levels and to support research on methods of dust suppression. Representatives were drawn from colliery proprietors, mining unions, government departments and JCB medical and engineering personnel.
Over the years, the Standing Dust Committee has initiated a number of innovative and important changes in dust control techniques within the industry and produced publications which have been widely circulated. These include, but are not limited to: