Nikky LaBranche to present on the impact of dust on health and wellbeing at WMC 2023
The 26th World Mining Congress (WMC) will be held in Brisbane from 26 – 29 June.
The Congress presents an extensive program featuring 14 keynote plenary speakers and more than 300 technical discussions segmented through 13 core streams, three symposia, workshops, and industry sessions.
We spoke with WMC speaker and Chair of the AusIMM Health and Safety Society, Nikky LaBranche MAusIMM(CP) (pictured), ahead of her upcoming presentation ‘The Future of Dust Monitoring’ on Wednesday 28 June.
What are you planning to highlight in your presentation?
The highlights I’ll be sharing with delegates include:
- The limitations of traditional/gravimetric sampling and the importance of understanding the specific particle characteristics, such as size, shape, and mineralogies, to determine their toxicity and health hazards.
- The use of new techniques like Mineral Liberation Analyser (MLA) to identify individual particulates for their size, shape, and mineralogy, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the dust makeup.
- The importance of characterisation studies, lung deposition studies, and toxicity studies to accurately determine the true dose of exposure.
What implications does this bring to current health and safety policies?
The implications of this presentation on current health and safety policies are significant. It highlights the limitations of the traditional/gravimetric sampling method, which provides only an overall mass of dust that a person is exposed to. It emphasizes the need for characterisation studies aid in determining the true dose of exposure and informing dust control strategies. This information can be used to develop more effective health and safety policies that target the specific characteristics of the dust and aerosols to better control them and reduce the health hazards associated with them.
How does this topic fit in the future of mining operations?
The topic of dust monitoring is crucial in the future of mining operations as it provides a better understanding of the health hazards associated with mining activities. The use of new techniques like MLA to identify individual particulates for their size, shape, and mineralogy, provides a more comprehensive understanding of the dust makeup. This information can be used to develop more effective control measures to minimize dust generation, reduce exposure, and protect the health of mine workers. Even for future remote operations where workers are no longer present to be exposed, these rely on cameras and sensors which can be compromised if there is too much dust present.
How have conversations about this topic changed over recent years?
Conversations about this topic have changed over recent years as new techniques like MLA have become available, providing a more comprehensive understanding of the dust makeup. There is a growing recognition of the limitations of traditional/gravimetric sampling methods and the importance of understanding the specific particle characteristics to determine their toxicity and health hazards. There is also a greater emphasis on characterisation studies, lung deposition studies, and toxicity studies to accurately determine the true dose of exposure.
What are you most excited to discuss and learn about at WMC 2023?
I am excited to learn about the latest advancements and research in various fields. At WMC 2023, I am looking forward to learning more about how technology is being used to improve sustainability and reduce the health and environmental impact of mining operations. I am also eager to hear from industry leaders about their experiences and challenges in implementing innovative solutions to address the pressing issues facing the mining industry.
Find out more and register for WMC 2023 here. Remember to enter your AusIMM membership number when you do to receive the $300 member discount.
Visit WMC 2023 to learn more about the event program.