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Air cleaning performance of a new environmentally controlled primary crusher operator booth

Mining Engineering , 2016, Vol. 68, No. 2, pp. 31-37

Organiscak, J.A.; Cecala, A.B.; Zimmer, J.A.; Holen, B.; Baregi, J.R.



The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) cooperated with 3M Company in the design and testing of a new environmentally controlled primary crusher operator booth at the company’s Wausau granite quarry near Wausau, WI. This quarry had an older crusher booth without a central heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, and without an air filtration and pressurization system. A new replacement operator booth was designed and installed by 3M based on design considerations from past NIOSH research on enclosed cab filtration systems. NIOSH conducted pre-testing of the old booth and post-testing of the new booth to assess the new filtration and pressurization system’s effectiveness in controlling airborne dusts and particulates. The booth’s dust and particulate control effectiveness is described by its protection factor, expressed as a ratio of the outside to inside concentrations measured during testing. Results indicate that the old booth provided negligible airborne respirable dust protection and low particulate protection from the outside environment. The newly installed booth provided average respirable dust protection factors from 2 to 25 over five shifts of dust sampling with occasional worker ingress and egress from the booth, allowing some unfiltered contaminants to enter the enclosure. Shorter-term particle count testing outside and inside the booth under near-steady-state conditions, with no workers entering or exiting the booth, resulted in protection factors from 35 to 127 on 0.3- to 1.0-μm respirable size particulates under various HVAC airflow operating conditions.