This is a class action case of several thousand miners suffering from lung fibrosis as a result of their exposure to dust over the last twenty years. This litigation alleged that the mining companies that owned or operated 100+ different mines were aware of the dangers posed to miners by dust and chose not to take action to improve these conditions. It was alleged that the defendants failed to execute the steps mandated in regulations and legislation designed to protect miners from dust exposure. An expert in the proper design and ventilation of a mine was sought to explain how mine ventilation systems should be installed to reduce worker exposure to dust.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your experience in the design and ventilation of gold mines.
- 2. Are you able to speak to how mine ventilation systems should be installed so as to best reduce worker exposure to dust and other harmful materials?
Expert Witness Response E-098122
I worked for a mine health and safety administration for 30+ years. At this is the agency, I worked on mine ventilation and dust control. I retired as chief of the dust division. Since retiring, I have worked as a consultant in the area of mine dust control. I have done studies in South America and Asia Pacific, as well as worked on product liability cases for U.S. equipment manufacturers. Most of these products cases were on behalf of defendants, however, I worked on a class action suit on behalf of the plaintiff. I can speak to technical issues of mine ventilation.
Expert Witness Response E-097352
I have been teaching mine ventilation and ventilation design at a midwestern school for last 3 years. The courses I taught were related to underground mining. The overall principles of ventilation design are similar for underground mines irrespective of the metal/mineral being mined. The design, in very general terms, depends upon mine size, location, depth, mining method being used, number of workers and machines in the mine, strata and geology of the mine, absence and presence of certain gases, and several other parameters. All these parameters are applicable to any commodity being mined and are modified keeping in view the specific needs of a mine or specific requirements of certain minerals e.g. coal, uranium, metals, and nonmetals. This is a highly researched area and several studies and papers are available that deal with the mitigation of dust exposures and how to overcome dust hazards.