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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Safety Idea

Drill Dust Control

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: Stone surface and underground, Stone mills and plants
Category: Drilling


William Krall, Stone Cutter, has developed a practical and inexpensive engineering solution to control dust that is emitted by the operation of hand held pneumatic rock drills. Without any type of engineering controls in use, the company exceeded the Personal Exposure Level set forth by MSHA on one sampling occasion. By applying basic engineering practices, a reduction in exposure limits was realized using readily available materials.

Drill Dust Control
Dust Control Assembly Materials:

  • Rubber air brake diaphragm, also called pancake (cut hole in top of pancake for drill bit),
  • shop vacuum nozzle (cut precise hole in side of pancake for snug fit),
  • weight attached to base of nozzle to support pancake, and
  • a light industrial shop vacuum.


With control device:
36.2% Quartz
Quartz Silica standard = .27 mg/m3
Mine Results 0.12 mg/m3 (compliant)
Without control device:
49% Quartz
Quartz Silica standard = .2 mg/m3
Mine Results 0.47 mg/m3 (non-compliant)


The cost for implementation is < $50, and its benefits are priceless.


Issued: 08/08/2003 
Tag # AP2003-S082


MSHA extends a thank you and a tip of the hardhat to
William Krall,
a winner of a limited edition sticker and patch.
If you have a tip you would like to pass on, you can e-mail it to zzMSHA-MinersTips@dol.gov. If your tip is selected, you will receive credit in this space.