The spread of airborne dust particles around poor conveyor transfer load zone design can quickly result in an accumulation of environmental reduced maintenance and conveyor clean-up costs. Key reasons why dust emissions need to be controlled are:
Risk to Personal Safety
The fine airborne dust particles create serious personal health risks when inhaled. Further safety risks include the increased risk of slips, trips and falls in areas of poor access and visibility caused by dust.
Risk to the Environment
Dust can reach areas beyond the site boundaries. It can contaminate delicate ecosystems especially in wetlands and rivers, causing regulatory interest and rifts between nearby towns and the plant.
Damage to Conveyor Equipment
The accumulation of dust can spread widely over the conveyor equipment. It needs to be cleaned up quickly otherwise it can interfere with the correct functioning of the conveyor componentry and cause increased shutdown periods, component replacement costs and maintenance clean-up costs. Poor morale and staff performance can be affected.
How to Manage Dust Emissions
The effective suppression of dust particles at the conveyor transfer points can be achieved through the installation of skirting and containment seals. Innovative skirting systems that are self-adjusting, reduce the level of personal involvement and so reduces the risks to personal safety.
Minimising the airflow around the conveyed material, particularly for all overland conveying systems, is recommended. Belt covers that allow easy access to the conveyor system at all times for any ongoing maintenance will reduce labour and shutdown requirements.