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Mining Machine Noise Contour Plots


These contour plots show the distribution of noise around a variety of common mining machines. The plots are based on data collected in a series of NIOSH studies conducted since 1999. The plots, along with links to the studies and NIOSH papers on noise control, allow you to quickly access examples of the sound levels around mining equipment and machinery to help minimize noise exposures during the mining cycle or mineral processing.

Instrumentation and Data Collection

Recording sound levels near a drill rig

Recording sound levels near a drill rig

Dragline excavation machine

Recording sound levels near a drill rig

Contour plot showing the sound intensity around a dragline

Recording sound levels near a drill rig

The sound levels shown in the contour plots were obtained through an area sampling procedure. In a typical study, equipment and sound levels were recorded using a sound level meter mounted on a tripod, with the microphone 1.5 m (5 ft) from the floor/ground (approximate ear height), angled at 70° from the source (per manufacturer recommendations), and facing the sound source. Measurements were made to delineate the near-field and far-field equipment sound levels. Near-field measurements were made on a 1- to 2-m (3- to 6-ft) grid, at a distance of approximately 1 to 2 m (3 to 6 ft) from the equipment. Far-field measurements were made up to 150 m (500 ft) from the equipment. An A-weighted equivalent continuous sound level (Leq) was recorded at each location. The parameter of interest for these studies was the average integrated A-weighted sound level accumulated during a 10-second measurement period or Leq using a slow response rate and 3-dB exchange rate. The 3-dB exchange rate is the method most firmly supported by scientific evidence for assessing risk of hearing impairment as a function of sound level and duration. The sound levels and their measurement locations were entered into the Golden Software, Inc. SSG-Surfer™ application to produce the sound level contour plots.

Mining Machine Noise Contour Plots

 
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