Mitigating airborne hazards in a mine during film production
When a film production company requested a health and safety assessment of two below grade mines in Colorado, our team was there to help. Our job? To identify high-level risks. The mines were associated with potentially hazardous materials and other site conditions the production could encounter while prepping, building sets, filming, and otherwise working in the spaces.
Our team reviewed legacy exposure data and identified potential airborne hazards that could be naturally occurring in the dust and air of the mine environments including silica, hydrogen sulfide, radon, lead, and arsenic. In addition, potential airborne hazards such as nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide were possible due to the potential use of generators and diesel-powered vehicles and equipment within the mines. Because the production intended to utilize special effects dust and compressed air during filming, our team collected samples of mine dirt and performed real-time exposure monitoring for various air contaminants.
Using our findings, we created a one sheet guide for the crew that outlined the controls implemented including dust suppression methods, increased mechanical ventilation, housekeeping and hygiene practices, and respiratory protection. Ultimately, production prep and filming were completed successfully in the mine environment.
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