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Task-specific noise exposure during manual concrete surface grinding in enclosed areas - influence of operation variables and dust control methods.

Akbar-Khanzadeh F; Ames AL; Milz SA; Akbar-Khanzadeh M
J Occup Environ Hyg 2013 Sep; 10(9):478-486
Noise exposure is a distinct hazard during hand-held concrete grinding activities, and its assessment is challenging because of the many variables involved. Noise dosimeters were used to examine the extent of personal noise exposure while concrete grinding was performed with a variety of grinder sizes, types, accessories, and available dust control methods. Noise monitoring was conducted in an enclosed area covering 52 task-specific grinding sessions lasting from 6 to 72 minutes. Noise levels, either in minute average noise level (Lavg, dBA) or in minute peak (dBC), during concrete grinding were significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with general ventilation (GV: on, off), dust control methods (uncontrolled, wet, Shop-Vac, HEPA, HEPA-Cyclone), grinding cup wheel (blade) sizes of 4-inch (100 mm), 5-inch (125 mm) and 6-inch (150 mm), and surface orientation (horizontal, inclined). Overall, minute Lavg during grinding was 97.0 +/- 3.3 (mean +/- SD), ranging from 87.9 to 113. The levels of minute Lavg during uncontrolled grinding (98.9 +/- 5.2) or wet-grinding (98.5 +/- 2.7) were significantly higher than those during local exhaust ventilation (LEV) grinding (96.2 +/- 2.8). A 6-inch grinding cup wheel generated significantly higher noise levels (98.7 +/- 2.8) than 5-inch (96.3 +/- 3.2) or 4-inch (95.3 +/- 3.5) cup wheels. The minute peak noise levels (dBC) during grinding was 113 +/- 5.2 ranging from 104 to 153. The minute peak noise levels during uncontrolled grinding (119 +/- 10.2) were significantly higher than those during wet-grinding (115 +/- 4.5) and LEVgrinding (112 +/- 3.4). A 6-inch grinding cup wheel generated significantly higher minute peak noise levels (115 +/- 5.3) than 5-inch (112+/-4.5) or 4-inch (111+/-5.4) cup wheels. Assuming an 8-hour work shift, the results indicated that noise exposure levels during concrete grinding in enclosed areas exceeded the recommended permissible exposure limits and workers should be protected by engineering control methods, safe work practices, and/or personal protective devices.
Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Noise-exposure; Task-performance; Grinding-equipment; Concretes; Exposure-assessment; Dosimetry; Noise-analysis; Noise-measurement; Noise-levels; Permissible-concentration-limits; Dust-control-equipment; Environmental-factors; Exposure-limits; Author Keywords: concrete grinding; enclosed areas; hand-held grinder; noise exposure
Farhang Akbar-Khanzadeh, University of Toledo Health Science Campus, College of Medicine, MS 1027, Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, 3000 Arlington Ave., Toledo, OH 43614
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-009271; M102013
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Performing Organization
University of Toledo
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division