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Snapshot of noise and worker exposures in sand and gravel operations.

Authors
Bauer-ER; Spencer-ER
Source
Min Eng 2008 Mar; 60(3):50-57
NIOSHTIC No.
20033395
Abstract
Previous studies and research efforts have shown that noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a problem in the U.S. mining industry. In response, researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have been conducting a cross-sectional survey of equipment noise and worker noise exposures in the mining industry to estimate the potential for NIHL within the mining community. One commodity recently surveyed was the extraction of sand and gravel from surface pits and by dredging. To address the potential for NIHL in the sand and gravel industry, sound levels on and around the dredges and processing equipment were recorded to identify areas of high noise levels. Full-shift worker dosimetry, in conjunction with task observations, was documented to determine the relationship between exposure and source. This paper presents research examining noise on dredges used in several surface mine sand and gravel operations and in the processing facilities. Results indicate that there are areas on the dredges (crane, suction pumps and diesel engines) where sound levels greater than 90 dB(A) are present. In addition, crushers and screens used in the processing of the sand and gravel also generate sound levels greater than 90 dB(A). Although no surveyed worker exceeded the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA's) permissible exposure level (PEL) of 90 dB(A) eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA8), laborers, mechanics, oilers, helpers, pickers and greasers are the workers most likely to be exposed to hazardous sound levels and to thus develop NIHL over time.
Keywords
Mining-industry; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-exposure; Hearing-loss; Mining-equipment; Quarries; Quarry-workers; Mine-workers; Miners; Sand-and-gravel-mines; Surface-mining
CODEN
MIENAB
Publication Date
20080301
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
2008
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
0026-5187
NIOSH Division
PRL
Priority Area
Mining
Source Name
Mining Engineering
State
PA
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