Is it simply their reputation, or are air rotary rigs one of the loudest rigs in operation today? It may be the engine, or the compressor, or the cooling fan, or the hammering activity that takes place during drilling, or it could be all of the above. Whatever the causes, it is clear that air rotary drilling rigs are loud. Because of this, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is investigating the noise exposures of waterwell drillers while they are drilling water wells for our communities. Nationally, much attention has been given to the ever increasing problem of Americans losing their hearing due to occupational noise exposure. In 1996, NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda identified hearing loss as the most common occupation-related disease in the United States.
NIOSH, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236