Insertion loss of noise barriers on an aboveground, full-scale model longwall coal mining shearer.
Sweeney-DD; Slagley-JM; Smith-DA
J Occup Environ Hyg 2010 May; 7(5):272-279
The U.S. mining industry struggles with hazardous noise and dust exposures in underground mining. Specifically, longwall coal mine shearer operators are routinely exposed to noise levels at 151% of the allowable daily dose, and approximately 20% exceed regulatory dust levels. In the current study, a partial barrier was mounted on the full-scale mock shearer at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Pittsburgh Research Laboratory. A simulated, full-scale, coal mine longwall shearer operation was employed to test the feasibility of utilizing a barrier to separate the shearer operator from the direct path of the noise and dust source during mining operations. In this model, noise levels at the operators' positions were reduced by 2.6 to 8.2 A-weighted decibels (dBA) from the application of the test barriers. Estimated insertion loss underground was 1.7 to 7.3 dBA. The barrier should be tested in an underground mining operation to determine if it can reduce shearer operators' noise exposure to below regulatory limits.
Noise-analysis; Noise-exposure; Noise-levels; Dust-exposure; Dust-particles; Particulate-dust; Respirable-dust; Mine-workers; Mineral-processing; Mining-industry; Longwall-mining; Coal-processing; Coal-mining; Exposure-limits; Exposure-assessment;
Author Keywords: longwall mining; noise; sound barrier
Jeremy M. Slagley, AFIT/ENV BLDG 640, 2950 Hobson Way, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433-7765
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
University of Cincinnati