Silicosis prevention in engineered stone processing

According to the latest news reports, Australia is facing the worst occupational lung disease crisis since the asbestos disaster.

Mining is not the industry in question this time. The recent spike in silicosis cases in the country is connected with kitchen renovations. Stonemasons who cut engineered stone into a popular type of kitchen benchtop are contracting accelerated silicosis at alarming levels, after being exposed to unsafe levels of silica dust.IMG_0952 (2)

While there is a high percentage of silica in most building materials, engineered stone is particularly notorious. It can contain up to 90 per cent silica, much higher than the content in granite or marble.  The considerable amount of dust is realised during cutting, drilling or blasting of engineered stone and without appropriate dust control workers’ health is compromised.

According to some reports in the past three financial years in Victoria there have been 16 silicosis claims by stonemasons, and in NSW there were 23 total silicosis claims, some by stonemasons. It is believed that this number will rise as more  workers get tested for silicosis.

Prevention is key and Mideco’s Bat Booth™ has been designed specifically to help with silicosis prevention as it deals with even the smallest dust particles. This powerful personnel de-dusting device uses a curtain of compressed air to blow the dust off the staff’s uniform. Instead of just being misplaced the dust is captured and removed due to low air pressure that’s maintained in the cabin throughout the cleaning process. It takes 10 – 12 seconds to permanently remove up to 50% more dust then via other commonly used dedusting equipment.

Since its launch in 2014 Bath Booth™ has been helping businesses take care of their staff and environment in many locations in Australia and around the world.

It’s been generating plenty of interest at industry events locally and overseas. In Australia it won “Highly Commended” award in the category of “Best Practice in Work Health & Safety” at the “Australian Bulk Handling Award” in Sydney in 2016.

Overseas Bat Booth™ has been included in the Dust Control Handbook produced by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. It was presented as one of the best examples of removing dust from personnel uniforms thus helping prevent dust related diseases, in particular those caused by silica exposure.

Bat Booth™ could be a powerful tool that can help contain the rising sad statistics of silicosis cases associated with engineered stone for kitchen benchtops.

Burnley® Baffles for Soda Ash application

In 2015 Mideco was approached by Pro Asia Pacific with a request to develop a dust system solution for their site in Laverton, Victoria. The company’s line of business included wholesale distribution of chemicals and allied products, including soda ash. We were requested to design a dust suppression system for soda ash and soda ash dust handling. This product, though not toxic, can irritate eyes, mouth and lungs and the processing machinery should be equipped with appropriate dust control tools to protect workers’ health.

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In this particular case, the dust suppressing equipment was required for the multiple out-loading hoppers fed both by FEL and bobcat. The client wanted to trial out Burnley® Baffles in one of the larger hoppers with the open face area of 2900mm x 2900mm. The trial was a successful one and Mideco ended up supplying 15 units of Model 1, half-baffles to Pro Asia Pacific.

The half-baffles are shorter in length and having both, full size and half-size units, allows us to create dust suppression systems for hoppers of various surface area sizes.

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We have provided the system design as per specifications, and the client was responsible for sourcing the support items and taking care of the structural engineering. Once all 15 half-baffles were ready, the client organized shipment to the Laverton site. The system was put together under Mideco’s supervision and the dust problem was solved.

 

Elevator project in Panevezys, Lithuania

We have recently received feedback from one of our clients in Lithuania that have been using Mideco’s Burnley® Baffles since 2013.

IMG_1056Mideco was approached by Amilina in Panevezys, Lithuania with a request to design and supply a dust control solution for wheat unloading. The process involved unloading the product into the hoppers in the newly built building, transportation of wheat after drying to the existing silo before returning it back to the elevator. This whole process could generate a considerable amount of dust and the company wanted to minimise their staff’s dust exposure and streamline the unloading process.

The dust solution was to be designed for two hoppers, 11.7×4 metre each that were serviced by four conveyors (300 tph) and one bucket elevator (300 tph).

We recommended Model 1 of Burnley® Baffles for this project.  To accommodate the size and type of such hoppers it was calculated that they would need to be fitted with four rows of baffles containing 11 units each. In total, we built and supplied 44 full baffles for each hopper of Model 1 Burnley® Baffles in 1.6mm thick galvanised steel.

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In this particular instance, the baffles were supplied flat-packed. The five crates with 88 baffles in total were delivered with assembly instructions.

Usually the Burnley® Baffles are shipped assembled ready to be positioned on top of a hopper. However, it is possible to distribute unassembled baffles which the client can fairly easily assemble himself following provided instructions. This allows clients to cut delivery costs which brings the total price of the dust control solution down. For example, in this particular case 88 full baffles fully assembled would require 33 pallets for transportation.

The company wrote to us a few days ago letting us know the baffles are still working perfectly. We are always appreciative of client’s feedback and pleased to have another satisfied customer on our list.

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Mideco’s Burnley® Baffles are working hard in Lang Lang

Back in 2014 Mideco was requested to design and supply a dust control solution for the Andritz Feed and Biofuel Pty Ltd, the company from Denmark. The client’s new feed mill in Lang Lang, Victoria, handling a mix of grain and grain meal was generating a lot of dust.  A dust solution was required for the hoppers opening of approximately  3540mm x 3000mm.

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After discussing the complexities of the project, we recommended Burnley® Baffles. This is Mideco’s internationally patented dust suppression device designed specifically to reduce the escape of dust from dump hoppers and chutes handling dry granular bulk raw materials such as grains and ores. In this particular case, we recommended to install Model 5 with 3.0mm thick galvanised mild steel. As the product mix has a high percentage of meal with lump sizes of anywhere between 3mm to 8mm, the welded baffles construction for effective dust suppression was also recommended.

One set of Burnley® Baffles was built for Irwin Stockfeeds in Lang Lang. It was successfully implemented and it’s still making a difference to the quality of air at the site today.

Burnley® Baffles is a well-established dust suppression system with hundreds of installations in Australia and around the world. They are also currently installed at facilities in the US, Canada, Ukraine, New Zealand, China, UK and Ireland amongst others.

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Bat Booth™ for Stillwater Mining, US

Mideco is committed to providing high quality dust control solutions, and we are always pleased to receive great feedback from our clients.

Our U.S. client, Stillwater Mining, has been using Bat Booth™ since April, 2016. Their safety coordinator Shane Anderson has contacted us to let us know the client and staff are very happy with Bat Booth™ and use it frequently.

Stillwater Mining has a palladium mine in Columbus, Montana, USA. They required a PPD tool to protect their staff from the effects of inhaling fine particles of crushed palladium. Our US agent, Controlled Environments Group, LLC has liaised with the company and delivered Bat Booth™ to the site.

Bat Booth’s™ popularity is steadily growing in the American market.  It generated lots of interest at the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association’s convention in March.  This year it was also included in the Dust Control Handbook produced by NIOSH (the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). Bat Booth™ was presented as one of the best examples of removing dust from personnel uniforms thus helping prevent dust related diseases, in particular those caused by silica exposure.

Bat Booth™ is a popular choice for mining because it’s efficient, doesn’t require installation, needs minimum maintenance and removes up to 80% of dust in 10 seconds.  In Australia, it’s used at Glencore Mount Isa Mine and BHPB Olympic Dam amongst others.

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The 30th Annual Conference of Mining Industry is a few days away

Mideco is pleased to have attended to the 2018 Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference that took place on the Gold Coast from 19 to 22 August. This annual conference on the mining workplace safety issues is one of the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The event is in its 30th year and it’s attended by nearly 700 delegates. The health and safety managers, occupational hygienists and training managers from some of the biggest names in mining such as Glencore, Anglo-American, BHP, Evolution Mining, Downer, Rio Tinto and many others participated in the conference as delegates and speakers.

The 2018 theme “Realising opportunities together” was supported by over 40 individual industry presentations. According to the conference co-chair Luca Rocchi, “This year’s theme focuses on working together to realise and identify opportunities for improvement in mining health and safety.”

There was a particular focus on the topic of dust exposure this year, especially coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) also known as black lung disease.  In Queensland with almost 30,000 staff working across 50 operating mines this is a particularly relevant issue. The well-known Report No. 2, issued by the 55th Parliament Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Select Committee on re-identification of CWP in Queensland, confirmed 21 coal mine workers in the state have been diagnosed with pneumoconiosis as of 29 May 2017.

Mr Fritz Djukic, Inspector of Mines (Occupational Hygiene) from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy presented a report on the topic titled “Dust Exposures in Queensland Surface Coal Mines: 2001 – 2017.”

The Queensland government is heavily invested in finding solutions and providing preventative measures to change the black lung statistics in the state. In August this year the government published a handbook on the problem – “Mine dust lung disease. Information for Queensland Mines and Quarries”.

It was interesting to hear from one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Cohen, about the increasing problem of the black lung disease in the United States. Dr Cohen, MD, the Professor of Medicine and Director of the Occupational Lung Disease Program at Northwestern University stressed in his report that countries must continue to knowledge share and collaborate to rid the mining industry of this terrible disease.

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All conference speakers shared this view and agreed that the solution of pneumoconiosis lies in its prevention.

Mideco’s personnel de-dusting system Bat Booth™ has been long recognised by the mining leaders such as BHP and Glencore as a great dust reduction tool that can help prevent the CWP.  Bat Booth has been designed to capture and permanently remove even the smallest dust particles such as silica.

We are proud to be helping the Australian mining industry change the sad statistics of the black lung disease by providing innovative solutions and modern technologies that can make a difference to the health of Australian miners.

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Bat Booth™ at QME 2018

This week Mideco is presenting the Bat Booth™ at the Queensland Mining and Engineering (QME) exhibition, the largest regional mining and engineering event in Australia.

It begins in Mackay tomorrow, 24 of July and over the next few days hundreds of companies from around Australia and the world will showcase the latest mining and engineering technical solutions available on the market.

It’s a perfect stage to introduce our Bat Booth™ to the mining industry. Its innovative but simple design allows to permanently remove up to 80% of dust from staff’s clothing in seconds, using only compressed air.

We already have a connection with Queensland mining. In 2017 Glencore Mount Isa Mines acquired their first Bat Booth™. We have received excellent feedback from a very happy client.  Participating at the QME in Mackay gives us an opportunity to introduce Bat Booth™ to more Queensland mines, where it can positively contribute to protecting the miners’ health from the harmful effects of silica dust.

In Queensland with almost 30,000 staff working across 50 operating mines this is a particularly relevant issue.  The well-known Report No. 2, issued by the 55th Parliament Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis Select Committee on re-identification of CWP in Queensland, confirmed 21 coal mine workers in the state have been diagnosed with Pneumoconiosis or ‘black lung’ disease as of 29 May 2017.

However, this terrible disease can be prevented through appropriate dust control, adequate ventilation or personal respiratory protection.

Mideco’s Bat Booth™ was created specifically to deal even with the smallest dust particles such as silica, and it will help you protect your staff.

Will you be attending the QME? Come and talk to us about your dust removal needs at stand #OS500. Or call our sales representative today.

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SKM project has been completed successfully

Mideco has met its tight deadline to deliver dust solutions for SKM Recycling and has completed the project on time.

We won a contract with SKM Recycling earlier this year. The company is Australia’s industry leader in recyclables processing. They provide a diverse range of recyclable sorting and collection services to councils and commercial, industrial and manufacturing organisations.
SKM Recycling required design and installation of dust solutions for glass manufacturing at their Victoria and South Australia’s sites. The project had to be delivered within only four weeks.
After the initial consultation with the client Mideco recommended to install two dust collectors with the capacity of 45.000m3/hr each. Upon further discussion we also proposed to add the real time Wi-Fi control. This technology would allow our client to collect information about the dust collector performance and its vital signs remotely in real time. Both SKM Recycling and Mideco would be able to monitor the data. Now the dust collectors would be only serviced when required, thus removing the need for unnecessary or last minute urgent checks. This means higher quality maintenance which translates into time, resource and cost savings for our client.
The Wi-Fi feedback technology was implemented at both Coolaroo site in Melbourne and Wingfield site in South Australia within required four weeks.
We are pleased we have been able to help create a healthier workplace and add another satisfied customer to our client database.

Is there an urgent dust problem at your workplace Mideco can take care of? Give us a call today to discuss your workplace environmental needs.

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Keller impressed with a borrowed Mideco’s dust collector buys two

downloadMideco’s 60 years of expertise in the area of dust control have produced equipment that makes an impact every time.  Our new client Keller was so impressed with Mideco’s dust collector it borrowed for a particular project that the company ended up buying not one, but two of them.

We are pleased to add Keller Australia Pty Limited to our client base. Keller Group with offices in over 40 countries across six continents is the largest independent geotechnical solutions specialist in the world. Keller Australia Pty Limited provides professional engineering services for the construction of housing projects, dams, tunnels and transportation projects for clients throughout Australia.

Mideco’s dust collector was borrowed to assist with dust control during cement production.  A considerable amount of dust is emitted at almost every stage of cement manufacturing and dust collectors play a very important role in managing air quality during the process.

Keller Australia borrowed a hand shaker cleaned dust collector suitable for 30 – 60 ton storage. These particular dust collectors are standalone units and don’t require any power or compressed air. In addition, they come with their own dust collection tray. This economy filter is just one of the four powerful dust collectors manufactured by Mideco.  Just like with all our equipment we are able to customise our products to fit your particular application and dust problem. You can find out more about our filters and what they can do for you here.

Is there a dust collector you would like to try out? Give us a call today to discuss dust control issues at your workplace.

WiFi control for SKM Recycling project

This month Mideco continued to dust problem solve for SKM Recycling by providing installation of real time Wi-Fi control for the dust collectors.

We won a contract with SKM Recycling earlier this year. The company is Australia’s industry leader in recyclables processing. They provide a diverse range of recyclable sorting and collection services to councils and commercial, industrial and manufacturing organisations.

SKM Recycling required urgent assistance with dust removal during glass recycling. After the initial consultation they specified to install two dust collectors with the capacity of 45.000m3/hr each.  We were contracted to build dust collectors for the company’s sites in Victoria and South Australia within the tight time frame of two months.

At Mideco we manufacture four types of dust collectors and filters: economy, tubular pulse, reverse air filters and ultra high efficiency after filters. Using the base technology within these four types we are able to customise specifically to your product and dust problem. In addition, we can provide support engineering and appropriate technology. You can learn more about dust collectors here.

To further facilitate the dust removal process for SKM Recycling Mideco also proposed the installation of real time Wi-Fi control. This technology would allow our client to collect information about the dust collector performance and its vital signs remotely in real time. Both Mideco and SKM would be able to monitor the data. This means increased maintenance quality which translates into time, resource and cost savings. It removes the need for frequent or last minute maintenance as the client is able to watch trends in the dist collection operation.

The Wi-Fi feedback technology would be implemented at both Coolaroo site in Melbourne and Wingfield site in South Australia within four weeks. Mideco’s engineers are currently working hard to meet the client project’s deadline.

SKM Recycling’s unique, high-end solution is just one example of Mideco’s innovative approach to dust suppression, collection and removal. After 60 years in the business we take pride in providing progressive solutions to solve our client’s most complicated dust problems.

Can we help you solve an urgent complex dust problem at your workplace ? Give us a call today to discuss your company’s environmental needs.