Mining Industry Noise Control
Mining is a dangerous industry. Fire, flood, explosion and collapse are just a few of the daily risks faced by workers.
But there’s a danger that’s often overlooked — one that can cause lasting damage to people operating mining equipment — and that’s the risk of hearing damage caused by noise levels on site.
Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of mining noise control….
What Are The Sources of Mining Noise?
There are all kinds of loud machines used in the excavation process. Percussion drills can reach the most dangerous noise levels of between114-120 decibels, but fans, stage loaders and haulage trucks also operate above the recommended 85-decibel health and safety threshold. Here are some more examples of machinery in the dangerous range:
– Drills: 116 dBA
– Muckers: 107 dBA
– Load haul dump: 101 dBA
– Miners/loaders: 100 dBA
– Longwalls: 98 dBA
– Shuttle cars: 93 dBA
Who Does Mining Noise Affect?
Mine workers are the people most susceptible to the dangers of noise from mine machinery and processes.
Unprotected exposure to sounds of around 85-90 decibels can result in permanent hearing damage. And, as we’ve seen, some mining machinery exceeds that by some distance and a person will suffer irreversible loss of hearing over 115 decibels after just 15 minutes.
It’s the responsibility of employers to provide a working environment that is, as practicably as possible, safe for workers. Failure to do so could lead to bad publicity, project delays and the threat of legal action.
Noise pollution also forces the migration of local wildlife too, which can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem in the surrounding area.
How Do You Limit Exposure to Mining Noise?
The best way to protect mine workers’ hearing is to use a combination of the following measures:
– Use engineering controls to limit noise; for example, lubricating equipment, fitting noise control measures between the source of the noise and the employee, or enclosing machinery
– Make changes to work schedules to limit the amount of hazardous noise occurring in areas of the site
– Supplying workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as earmuffs can protect workers from up to 115 decibels
We offer a range of measure to help define and solve mining noise control challenges, including;
– Noise treatment of OEM equipment to meet mine specifications
– Design, testing and investigation
– Exhaust systems
– Acoustic panels
– Acoustic lining
– Thermowrap thermal insulation blankets
You can read more on our mining solutions here
IAC Acoustics help mines throughout Australia minimise equipment downtime and reduce conflict and risk for mine operators. Contact us to find out more about how we can help your business.