Mining Publication: In-Cab Noise Reduction on an Air-Rotary Drill Rig
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has investigated engineering noise controls to reduce sound levels in cabs on air-rotary drill rigs. A recent investigation revealed that some drillers are exposed to A-weighted sound levels exceeding 85 dB even though a cab is used. NIOSH studied the in-cab sound levels of one such rig. First, preliminary tests were conducted in a controlled environment using accelerometers and microphones with spectral analysis to identify the dominant noise sources for in-cab sound levels. The results indicate that vibration transmitted from multiple hydraulic pumps to the control panel produces a dominant spike in the sound level spectrum in the 400 Hz 1/3-octave band. Next, field tests were performed in a production environment to evaluate noise controls to reduce in-cab sound levels. It was found that utilizing hydraulic noise suppressors reduces the structure borne noise transmitted to the control panel. Further, using hydraulic noise suppressors and enhancing soundproofing reduced the in-cab A-weighted sound levels by as much as 4 dB.