Mining Publication: Technology News 527 - The Partial Cab: A New Noise Engineering Control for Surface Drill Rigs
NIOSH, in partnership with stakeholders in the mining and surface drilling industries, conducted research to develop engineering control technologies that reduce workplace noise exposure. The result of this research partnership is the development of a partial cab. Background: Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) continues to be an occupational health problem in the U.S. mining industry. Hearing loss data suggest that by age 50, nearly 90% of coal miners have a hearing impairment. This compares to 10% for a general population of nonexposed males. Previous studies showed that operators of noncab surface drill rigs are overexposed to noise. These rigs are used in various surface drilling industries, including mining and construction. Many surface rigs do not have full cabs as a result of the original equipment manufacturer design or the prohibitive cost of aftermarket products.