Dust generation on your worksite creates numerous financial liabilities. Dealing with dust at its source is critical to avoid the burden of financial liability especially in an ailing global economy which can be tough to business owners. Opportunities to deal with dust at its source diminish if the problem is not addressed very early on and a dust management plan should never be compromised on. There ought to be a rational, factual and human face to dealing with dust as the effects of dust financially burden the families of those that succumb to dust diseases. To avoid and prevent financial liabilities caused by dust, Global Road Technology (GRT) offers a wide range of products to deal with dust at its source. The different sites that can utilize GRT products effectively and avoid financial liabilities include: 

  • Mining 
  • Quarrying
  • Tunnelling
  • Renewables 
  • Oil & gas 
  • Civil applications 
  • Rural applications 

In this article, GRT evaluates 6 financial liabilities caused by dust generated on your site.

1. Penalties if exposure limits are exceeded and if there are accidents on site

There is a great push in Australia to better protect workers from exposure to different types of dust such as silica dust, coal dust, asbestos dust etc. Both occupational and non-occupational exposure can cause fatal consequences for workers, families and neighbouring communities close to dust-generating activities. Failure to adhere to regulations of exposure limits has led to penalties and fines from regulatory authorities. All this is amidst several calls for regulations regarding exposure levels of silica dust to be more stringently enforced, and for penalties to be increased for failure to comply with exposure limits. The blanket of dust on a site can deter the visibility of haul trucks which can result in fatal accidents. The investigation can be traced back to the presence of a working environment which is not conducive for driving haul trucks and this can lead to extensive penalties for workplace negligence because of failure to deal with dust at its source.

2. More water means more money

Water alone is not recommended as a dust control solution. It costs more on the fleet and moisture ingression damages the road surface. You also spend more money using more water especially in hot conditions where the water quickly evaporates, and you need to urgently respray with water to deal with dust from the road surface. In a very interesting case, workers have been forced to down tools at a project because the dust levels were too high at the tunnelling site. In this case the reason for the dust, was because they stopped using water suppression so trucks could carry more, and the process could be sped up. It boils down to choices made to put workers at these sites at risk. The dust suppression should not have used water alone in the first place hence the recurrence of persistent dust which led to downing of tools. The cost of human life is at stake when water alone is used and clearly the efficiency in processes is reduced which also costs more money as business targets must be met BUT not at the expense of the workers. 

 3. Reduction in operational efficiency

Dust generated from blasting requires complete clearing of personnel, and this affects production downtime as personnel and machinery need to be halted early enough for the for-blasting dust to clear. This is a time-consuming procedure and the more the downtime the greater the effect on operational efficiency. Operational efficiency is governed by consistent work hours allocated per section and the delivery of the targets based on the workforce available. Disturbances from the repeated dust suppression operations which involve water carts and graders can disturb the flow in operation affecting the use of equipment and staff for the more productive operations. Time lost is often repaid by more expenses to cover the deficit and reduction in operation efficiency results in more financial liabilities for the business. The use of water trucks and graders also expends more fuel per liter. In addition to limiting resources away from areas of operational need, heavy vehicles that must constantly traverse the road performing dust suppression operations are heavy polluters because they run on diesel. 

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4. Liable for dust diseases lawsuits

The pool of potential claimants is expected to grow given the levels of exposure dust exposed to workers on different dust generating sites. In Australia, unions have demanded a compensation fund, minimum benchmarks to protects workers in every affected industry, penalties for employers, a national health screening program, and a register for every diagnosed case of silicosis to track the scale of the emerging disease. In the famous case, a woman won a landmark compensation claim after lawyers argued her lupus was caused by silica dust. In an Australian first! The groundbreaking outcome of a lawsuit, twelve years post diagnosis, now allows the lady to secure compensation to enhance her quality of life. As legislation is become more stringent, any form of exposure to dust diseases to workers will warrant access to compensatory entitlements with greater ease. Elimination of dust from Australian workplaces is no longer an option but a must to avoid dust diseases lawsuits. 

5. Loss in agricultural productivity

The aftermath of the failure to control coal dust at the source has negative and costly repercussions on agricultural production. Agricultural activities within the vicinity of coal mine operations suffer deleterious effects on vegetative organs. Air pollution and specifically dust affect agriculture with the potential to reduce both the yield and nutritional quality of crop plants. It affects plants by either reducing yields or degrading the quality of agricultural product. Presence of high levels of suspended particulate matter is a huge problem for agriculture, with examples of coal dust that deposits on plants affecting their nutrients, photosynthesis and production. Sulphur in coal dust affects respiration of crops and on reaction with dew and rainwater, it produces an acidic compound that burns up crop lamina and reduces crop outputs. Coal dust is chemically reactive given its chemistry which is attributed to elements, functional groups and free radicals. Blocked stomata and leaf injury is common in commercial crop species leading to an overall reduction in vegetative growth and reproductive structures.

6. Reduced solar output power

The inherent material properties of the semiconductor determine the efficiency of the photovoltaic (PV) system. PV system performance degradation due to dust deposition has become a major concern. The accumulation of dust on PV cells has negative impact on covering glass, which decreases the spectral transmittance and PV power generation efficiency. Dust accumulation for a long time damages the layer of the panel, resulting in less output and decreasing lifespan. Transit of solar radiation through the atmosphere experiences interferences from pollutants such as dust and in the process scattered backward. The effects of scattering by dust decreases the direct component of solar radiation which increases the diffuse irradiance. The electrical behavior of PV modules depends on incident irradiance and when solar insolation on the panel surface decreases as result of dust, less power can be obtained which results in reduced efficiency.


Global Road Technology can help you deal with dust generated at your site before you incur any of these six financial liabilities in these ways. Our GRT product portfolio offers a product range that deals with dust at its source and you can easily buy these products online on the GRT Marketplace. We save you money by providing dust control solutions that make water work and in so doing it improves operational efficiency by minimizing disruptions to work schedules benefiting the interests of your business and meeting the business goals on your site. There would never be dust disease lawsuits if dust was dealt with in the first place, so allow us to help you deal with dust before it escalates to lawsuits and court dates. Eliminate bad relationships with the farming communities within the vicinity of your operations by trusting GRT to provide products that bind smaller dust particles before they travel long distances to affect agricultural productivity. Once dust is buoyant, the right product enables corrective dust control and GRT offers the right product that deals with dust before it affects solar generating due to dust deposition. 

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