The world of mining requires mobile equipment to perform work in various locations every hour of the day – many of which are powered by diesel engines. While diesel fumes are around us in our everyday lives from cars and other automobiles, workers who spend extended periods of time around diesel-run machinery can be at risk.

Last week on the blog we discussed how to use gas detector tubes to measure personal exposure levels of workplace chemicals. But, how does one test for hazards in high-risk situations – say, directly from a hot exhaust pipe?

Gastec does that.

Understanding which workplace hazards you may be subject to is important across all industries. But, when it comes to monitoring the air quality in mining environments, this holds especially true.

mining gas detection gastec

Occupational Risks

Diesel exhaust can contain many health hazards including diesel particulate matter, Carbon Monoxide (CO), Oxides of Nitrogen NOx (NO & NO2), Oxides of Sulphur (SOx), Aldehydes and Carbon Dioxide (CO2). What does that mean for your health? To start, short-term exposure can include dizziness, headaches and eye, nose and throat irritation. Prolonged exposure can result in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

How Gastec Can Help

By measuring the undiluted gas at the exhaust point, more accurate information is gathered about the true level of the gases being emitted by the vehicle. Workers in mining can measure the undiluted exhaust of a diesel-run machine with the use of a Gastec Hot Probe and Hot Probe Holder with the associated colorimetric detector tube.

The Hot Probe Advantage

The hot probe device allows you to collect samples from 60 to 600ºC such as exhaust from vehicles and furnaces by cooling the gas down to ambient temperatures. Tubes available for these applications include CO, NO, NO2, CO2, SO2 and aldehyde gases.

How to UseGastec hot probe

With Gastec, you can draw hot gas samples in three easy steps:

  1. Attach the Hot Probe and Holder to the Gastec pump with the threaded connection.
  2. When ready to take a sample, remove the tips of the tube with the tub tip breaker on the pump.
  3. Insert the tube into the holder and draw the required sample.

It’s the Law

Many provinces have regulations that outline the requirements for vehicle exhaust gas testing in the workplace. An example of these include:

  • Tests must be conducted on the engine exhaust of diesel-powered equipment used underground while the engine is idling to determine the carbon monoxide concentration:
    • Immediately after repairs to the engine or exhaust system, and
    • When recommended by the manufacturer, or monthly; whichever is more frequent.
  • A person must not operate diesel-powered equipment underground if the undiluted exhaust gases discharging from its engine reach or exceed 1200 ppm by volume of carbon monoxide.
  • A record of the tests conducted must be kept.

Two industrial workers wearing reflective jackets standing on mining worksite outdoors using digital tablet

Using Gastec Hot Probe accessories is an easy and accurate way to ensure that you and your workers are safe while in the presence of diesel-run engine. But remember, diesel fumes aren’t the only hazard you should be aware of when working in mining. Click here to download our free PDF Hazardous Gases in Mining to better understand which hazards you might be subject to and which Gastec solutions can help.

Looking for more help on how Gastec can help complete your gas detection program? Contact us today! We’re glad to help you identify which hazardous gases and fumes you may be subject to in your workplace, and which Gastec solution can help.

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Jonathan McCallum

Market Segment Manager: Occupational Health, Industrial Hygiene & Environmental Monitoring

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