Mining Publication: Survey of Noise in Coal Preparation Plants
In response to the continuing problem of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) among mine workers, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has conducted numerous noise surveys in coal preparation plants. The research, consisting of worker dose monitoring, task observations, and equipment noise profiling, was completed in eight separate preparation plants. Worker dose monitoring was conducted for three shifts in most cases. Workers experiencing higher than allowable doses were task-observed for one full shift to correlate dose to noise source(s). Finally, noise levels on all floors, and in lunch rooms and control rooms, were characterized. Results indicate that only workers who routinely spend a significant portion of their shift in the plants (away from the control rooms) are susceptible to overexposure from noise. Certain pieces of equipment (screens, centrifuges, sieve bends) are the loudest primary noise sources responsible for the worker noise exposures.