Mining Project: Evaluation and Development of Hearing Loss Interventions
To improve the effectiveness of hearing loss prevention interventions through development, refinement, promotion, and long-term evaluation.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the most common occupational illness in the United States today, with 22 million workers exposed to hazardous noise. To prevent NIHL, NIOSH's Hearing Loss Prevention and Noise Control program has developed multiple noise controls and intervention tools, but there is a need for evaluation and outcome data on the interventions and the hearing loss program. It is also important to continue developing new tools that workers can use to effectively reduce their exposure. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to develop and evaluate new products, determine the effectiveness of existing interventions, and promote the use of those interventions.
This project consisted of two major tasks:
Task 1. The effectiveness of existing NIOSH-developed mining machine noise controls was assessed. These controls include urethane-coated chains for continuous mining machines, bit isolators, chuck isolators, and collapsible drill steel enclosures for roof bolting machines. Additional noise controls were evaluated as the project progressed. Noise control adoption was promoted through workshop and training campaigns that focused on effectiveness, ease of use, and improved working environments resulting from implementation.
Task 2. This task involved a collection of interventions that workers use to effectively reduce their noise exposure. These included exposure feedback systems, training systems for improved audibility through hearing protection devices (HPDs), and handouts/documents focusing on various topics related to reducing NIHL.
Additionally, an audiometric surveillance component was used to track the hearing status of the mining industry over time.
As a result of this project, as more noise controls are implemented and greater focus is placed on the importance of reducing NIHL, we expect to observe a gradual decline in hearing loss as measured through surveillance.
- Cross-Sectional Survey of Noise Exposure in the Mining Industry
- Determining Underground Roof Bolting Machine Operators Noise Exposure Using Laboratory Results
- Hearing Loss Prevention in Mining - 2005
- NIOSH Hearing Loss Simulator Instruction and Training Guide
- Noise Control in Underground Metal Mining
- Noise Exposure in Longwall Mining and Engineering Controls Research
- A Technique for Estimating the Sound Power Level Radiated by Pneumatic Rock Drills and the Evaluation of a CSIR Prototype Rock Drill with Engineering Noise Controls
- Underground Evaluation of Coated Flight Bars for a Continuous Mining Machine
- Water Well Safety Bits: Health And Safety Information For The Water Well Industry
- Working in Noise with a Hearing Loss: Perceptions from Workers, Supervisors, and Hearing Conservation Program Managers