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Water well safety bits: health and safety information for the water well industry.

NIOSH 2005 Sep; :1-10
Water well drillers are exposed to high levels of noise while working. NIOSH researchers have found that water well drillers are exposed to levels above 85 dB(A) while performing certain tasks during a typical drilling job. Noise levels consistently over 85 dB(A) during an 8-hour work shift are hazardous and lead to hearing loss in workers. Finding ways to reduce noise exposure is difficult because of many factors. The work environment is constantly changing because of the location of jobs and environmental factors. Drillers and owners can work together to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, and measures can be taken to reduce exposure to hazardous noise. A water well drilling site is full of potential hazards. Most common among these hazards is electricity, which was the cause of 21 fatalities among water well drillers during 1992-2000. Nineteen of these fatalities occurred while workers were drilling and/or servicing a water pump or when the rig contacted overhead power lines. Owners and employees should work together to create jobsite and task-specific electrical safety guidelines. The water well industry has a workforce with many years of experience. Members of the "Baby Boomer" generation have filled drillers' ranks over the past 20 years. As these Boomers start to retire, company owners need to pass on these workers' experiences to inexperienced workers. Today's younger workers learn and think about their jobs differently than their parents or grandparents. To help train younger workers, companies need to know more about these workers and their preferred learning styles.
Hearing-conservation; Hearing-loss; Hearing-protection; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-sources; Noise-levels; Noise-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health; Safety-research; Water-well-drillers; Drillers; Drill-rigs; Noise; Training; Job-analysis; Hazards; Electrical-safety; Electricity; Electrical-equipment; Electrical-systems; Accidents; Lightning; Age-factors; Age-groups; Safety-practices; Mining-industry
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Publication Date
Document Type
Information Circular; Numbered Publication
Email Address;
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
(NIOSH) 2005-160; IC-9483
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health