Mining Publication: Modified Tail Section Reduces Noise on a Continuous Mining Machine
Overexposure to noise remains a widespread, serious health hazard in the U.S. mining industries. Most other categories of illnesses and injuries associated with mining have improved, with the exception of hearing loss. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) coal noise data from 2000-2004 show that the continuous mining machine is first among all equipment with 35 percent of the noise overexposures. Joy Mining Machinery, in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is conducting research to reduce noise generated by continuous mining machines. This paper describes a "JOY-Designed for Noise Reduction" (JOY-DNR; Patent Pending) tail section as a noise control for reducing the noise overexposures of continuous mining machine operators. Underground results show a 45 percent and 65 percent noise exposure reduction for the operator when compared to a standard machine. Utilizing this newly developed noise control, along with previously proven controls, will provide continuous mining machine operators an opportunity to be within the MSHA-Permissible Exposure Limit (MSHA-PEL).