Change in standard for respirable coal dust
The workplace exposure standard for respirable coal dust has been halved from 1 October in Queensland. The exposure standard was revised from a time weighted average of 3 milligrams per cubic metre (mg/m3) down to 1.5mg/m3.
Respirable coal dust can be generated and made airborne during work processes such as:
- breaking, crushing or milling coal;
- undertaking coal combustion processes;
- handling and transporting coal and coal fly ash;
- storing coal;
- undertaking shutdown maintenance activities; and
- cleaning workplaces where coal is used.
In response to the change in exposure standard, businesses that work with coal should:
- review existing dust controls and procedures to make sure they meet the new standard;
- continue to meet existing requirements for air and health monitoring;
- provide appropriate training and respiratory protective equipment; and
- remind workers of their obligation to:
- take reasonable care for their own health and safety;
- comply with any reasonable policy or procedure from the business for keeping safe from coal dust exposure at work; and
- wear any appropriate personal protective equipment provided by the business, so far as they are reasonably able to, in accordance with training, information and reasonable instruction.
From the experts behind the Health & Safety Handbook, the Bulletin brings you the latest work health and safety news, legal updates, case law and practical advice straight to your inbox every week.