One of many hazards in mining industry is presence of airborne dust on underground boards. Hazards caused by dust generated and spread in mines are of the two types: (1) health risk for miners from airborne dust produced from rocks, coal, soluble minerals (pneumoconiosis, toxicity), (2) danger of explosion of carbon dust. Dust particles produced in mines underground range from 0 to about 400 micrometers, have irregular shapes and prevailingly are strongly light absorbing. It is assumed that the most health-risky are particles between 1 μm and 5 μm in size. They are not visible with naked eyes, so their control and measurement need technical equipment. As a standard in polish mines, gravimetric measurement method is used at present. This method works well in post-event evaluation of total health-risk factor, but is not much useful for instantaneous risk warning. In order to recognize and possibly prevent the dust risk as it appears, other methods have to be used, like optical method. Looking towards this demand, an experimental optical dust sensor is demonstrated. The sensor is based on light scattering effect by dust particles, as usual do devices of this type. Originality of this solution lies in construction details of the sensor. Scattering is a complex function of dust kind, size, shape and concentration. Moreover, operating conditions of such a device are cruel -- humidity, elevated temperature, vibrations, and over-all contact with dust -- are harmful for optics. Thus, to achieve reliable indications of the sensor is really a challenge. This paper describes optical construction attempting to overcome difficulties in obtaining dust concentration sensor intended for mining industry and similar applications. First laboratory and operational tests are also reported.