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.

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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Bat Booth™ updated brochure is available

Bat Booth BrochureWith Mideco’s Bat Booth™ being part of so many industry exhibitions recently, it’s only fair its brochure gets a facelift.

In 2018 we are refreshing our brand which will include an update of our promotional material. Earlier this year we have designed and published Mideco’s Corporate – a new company brochure that includes the company history, focus products and some case studies. Up next is the Bat Booth™ booklet.

Just like with Mideco’s Corporate, we are not making any serious changes to the brand, just improving the look. The Bat Booth™ brochure will have some new images and a slightly different layout.

While the look and feel of the brochure will change, the content will remain the same as our star personnel de-dusting machine doesn’t require an upgrade. Its unique and innovative design does the same perfect job of permanently removing up to 75% dust in 10 seconds  every time. The only items that need to be regularly updated are dust filters which work fairly hard once the Bat Booth™ is on site.

In the brochure you can also find the information about Bat Booth™ safety features, use applications, see before and after photos and illustration of its features.

Contact us today if you’d like a new brochure to be sent to you.

Mideco at QME 2018, Mackay

B&AWe continue to expand our reach within the Australian market.  Mideco’s participation in the Queensland Mining and Engineering (QME) exhibition has just been confirmed.

QME is the state’s leading mining and engineering trade event that will take place in Mackay in July this year.  What began as a trade show in 1993 is now the largest regional mining event in Australia. Every year it brings together hundreds of companies from around Australia and the world to showcase the latest mining and engineering technical solutions available on the market.

Mideco will have a stand displaying our star personnel dedusting equipment, Bat Booth™. Being a cost effective, efficient, easy to install and use dust removal device, Bat Booth™ makes regular appearances at various industry events and exhibitions.

We already have a connection with Queensland mining. In December 2017 Glencore Mount Isa Mines acquired a first Bat Booth™. Our client has been very happy and we have received excellent feedback. We are now discussing Glencore orders for 2018.

Participating at the QME in Mackay gives us an opportunity to introduce Bat Booth™ to more Queensland mines. We are confident it will be another successful display of Mideco’s innovative dust removal solutions.

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.

Next Bat Booths™ service run is scheduled – software update

In April all of Mideco’s local Bat Booths™ are scheduled for service and this time it will include a software update.

A regular service of our equipment is part of Mideco’s client offering. Our Bat Booths™, Burnley® Baffles and other dust collectors come with engineering support and undergo regular maintenance.

In this service run Mideco engineers will update the software for all the Australian Bat Booths™ to the latest version.  Now our clients will be able to see how much the Bat Booths™ are used by tracking the number of blasts.

During our last service in November 2017, we collected data that shows a Bat Booth™ is usually engaged around 4200 times per year. We found that once a Bat Booth™ is on site, it’s used so frequently the filters wear out quicker then anticipated. It’s not surprising. All you have to do is press a button and in ten seconds the dust has been permanently removed from a staff’s uniform. To meet the demand we had to increase our scheduled service runs up to four per year – every 3-4 months.

Updating the software is the next step which will allow our clients to monitor the filters status and replace them in timely manner. For example, if the Bat Booth™ is used a hundred times per month, we advise to change the filters twice a year.

At Mideco we continue to accumulate and apply our dust solutions knowledge to improve our products and to benefit our clients.

Mideco reports about AGG1 Show results

We are pleased to report that our Bat Booth™ has had a successful run at the USA 2018 National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association’s Annual Convention.  At this event, which took place earlier this month, the Bat Booth™ was introduced to America’s aggregates industry for the first time.

This exhibition is the aggregates industry’s leading exposition and education resource, that is known for showcasing the latest technologies and innovations in aggregates-related equipment, products and services. No wonder that our Bat Booth™ created a buzz and generated plenty of interest. After all, this innovative personnel dust removal machine is unlike anything else on the market.  What other equipment can not only remove but also capture the dust from staff’s uniform in only 10 seconds? And that without an expensive price tag or complicated installation process.

The success of the Bat Booth™ demonstration at the exhibition confirms there is definitely a market for this type of equipment in America. After the exhibition our U.S. representative, Controlled Environments Group LLC, has received a few offers and is now in agreement negotiations with several interested companies. In addition, we have been invited to participate in the next year exhibition in Indianapolis.

We are confident in Mideco’s equipment unique design and didn’t expect anything less.

Bat Booth™ at AGG1 Aggregates Academy and Expo

This week Mideco’s Business Manager Mr Melton White will be introducing the Bat Booth™ to the US quarry industry for at the USA 2018 National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association’s Annual Convention.

AGG1 Academy & Expo

This annual exhibition, that opens in Huston, Texas today, is the aggregates industry’s leading exposition and education resource. Over the next 3 days, the convention will be showcasing the latest technologies and innovations in aggregates-related equipment, products and services. Mideco is proud to be a part of such an important event presenting our star personnel dedusting equipment.

We have this unique opportunity to showcase Bat Booth’s™ innovative design thanks to our U.S. representative Controlled Environments Group LLC.  The company has been our agent since 2013 promoting and selling Mideco’s dust solutions to the American and Canadian market. This is the first time, however, the Bat Booth™ will be introduced to the quarry industry.

Can Bat Booth™ be part of your industry exhibition? Call us to see if we’d be a good fit for your upcoming event.

NIOSH will include the Bat Booth™ into the Dust Control Handbook for the mining industry

Mideco is proud to announce that our Bat Booth™ will be included in the Dust Control Handbook produced by NIOSH (the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).

NIOSH is the U.S. federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. It’s a part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Department of Health and Human Services.  The organisation regularly produces a range of relevant OH&S publications in over 10 languages. They are currently finalising their latest edition of The Dust Control Handbook which deals with the clothes cleaning technologies and this year it will include Mideco’s Bat Booth™.

The Bat Booth™ will be 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.

It is a great achievement to be included in a dust control solutions publication produced by such a recognised OH&S organisation. We completely stand by our Bat Booth™ as not only the most efficient  personnel dust removal equipment currently on the market, but also the safest one.

This, together with the Bat Booth’s™ introduction to the U.S. quarry industry  at The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Associations’ convention in March, continues to promote our dust solutions to the American market.

We look forward to a busy year ahead.

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