On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.111 n.5 Johannesburg May. 2011
Profiles of noise exposure levels in South African Mining
A.L. EdwardsI; J.J. DekkerII; R.M. FranzI; T. van DykII; A. BanyiniIII
ICentre for Mining Innovation, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
IIOccupational Hygiene Consultants
IIIMine Health and Safety Council, South Africa
OBJECTIVES: A two-year study focused on current noise exposure levels in the South African mining industry, aimed at helping the Mine Health and Safety Council of South Africa meet its milestones for eliminating noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
METHODS: A multi-task methodology was adapted from international baseline studies to determine the exposure to noise in both large-scale and small- to medium-scale mines.
RESULTS: On average, 66.7 per cent of the employees sampled in year 1 and 78.4 per cent in year 2 were exposed to noise levels of above the 85 dBA legislated occupational exposure level.
CONCLUSIONS: Information obtained through the study could be developed into a national personal noise exposure database, including audiometric results, equipment noise emission levels and initiatives for noise engineering control by mines and equipment manufacturers to facilitate targets of eliminating NIHL.
Keywords: Noise exposure levels, mining industry, noise-induced hearing loss
“Full text available only in PDF format”
1. FRANZ, R.M., VAN RENSBURG, A.J., MARX, H.E., MURRAY-SMITH, A.I., and HODGSON, T.E. Develop means to enhance the effectiveness of existing hearing conservation programmes. Report GEN011. Johannesburg: Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee. 1997. [ Links ]
2. PICARD, M., GIRARD, S.A., SIMARD, M., LAROCQUE, R., LEROUX, T., and TURCOTTE, F. Association of work-related accidents with noise exposure in the workplace and noise-induced hearing loss based on the experience of some 240,000 person-years of observation. Accident Analysis & Prevention, vol. 40, no. 5, 2008, pp. 1644-1652. [ Links ]
3. VERMAAS, R.M., EDWARDS, A.L., and SOER, M.M. Noise exposure in gold miners: utilizing audiogram configuration to determine hearing handicap. Occupational Health SA. vol. 13, no. 5, 2007, pp. 16-19. [ Links ]
4. BAUER, E.R., SPENCER, E.R., SMITH, A.K., and HUDAK, R.L. Reducing Noiseinduced Hearing Loss in Longwall Coal Mine Workers. NIOSH's Approach. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, Hearing Loss Prevention Branch; n.d. [ Links ] [cited: 2010 Jan]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/NIOSH/mining/pubs/pdfs/rnihl.pdf.
5. HERMANUS, M. Occupational health and safety in mining-status, new developments, and concerns. The Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, vol. 107, 2007, pp. 531-538. [ Links ]
6. BAUER, E.R. and SPENCER, E.R. Snapshot of noise and worker exposures in sand and gravel operators. Mining Engineering, 2008, March, pp. 50-57. [ Links ]
7. MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (MSHA) Federal Register, 1999, Health Standards for Occupational Noise Exposure. Final Rule. Department of Labor, 30 CFR Parts 56 and 57, vol. 64, no. 176, 1999, pp. 49548-49634. [ Links ]
8. REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA. MINE HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT, Act 29 of 1996 (MHSA). Pretoria, Republic of South Africa: South African Department of Minerals and Energy, 1996. [ Links ]
9. SAMOHP. /South African Mines Occupational Hygiene Programme Code Book/. Pretoria, Republic of South Africa. Department of Minerals and Energy. Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate, 2002. [ Links ]
10. BOTHA, B.J.R. and BECKER, E.C.H. Acoustical noise in the gold mining industry. Research Report No. 58/65. Johannesburg. Chamber of Mines of South Africa. 1965. [ Links ]
11. VOSLOO, P.J.E., VAN GRAAN, C.H., and STRYDOM, N.B. A noise survey of two collieries. Research Report No. 15/75. Johannesburg. Chamber of Mines of South Africa, 1975. [ Links ]
12. VAN RENSBURG, A.J., SCHUTTE, P.C., STRYDOM, N.B., JOOSTE, P.L., and SCHOEMAN, J.J. The personal noise doses of different workers in the gold mining industry. Research Report No. 10/80. Johannesburg. Chamber of Mines of South Africa, 1980. [ Links ]
13. VAN RENSBURG, A.J., KIELBLOCK, A.J., and MARX, H.E. Equivalent noise exposure of hand held hydraulic and pneumatic rockdrill crews: a comparative study. Research Report No. 12/89. Johannesburg. Chamber of Mines of South Africa, 1989. [ Links ]
15. DEKKER, J.J., FRANZ, R.M., and NDLOVU, N. Project on the status (base lining) of silica dust and noise exposure in the mining industry (year 1). SIMRAC 06 06 01; Johannesburg. Safety in Mines Research Advisory Council, 2007. [ Links ]
16. DEKKER, J.J., FRANZ, R.M., VAN DYK, T., and EDWARDS, A.L. Project on the status (base lining) of silica dust and noise exposure in the mining industry (year 2). SIMRAC 06 06 01. Johannesburg. Safety in Mines Research Advisory Council, 2009. [ Links ]
17. CONCAWE HEALTH MANAGEMENT GROUP (CHMG). A survey of exposures to gasoline vapour. Report 4/87. 1987, pp. 1-39. [ Links ]
18. CONCAWE HEALTH MANAGEMENT GROUP (CHMG). /A review of European gasoline exposure data for the period 1993-1998/. Report 2/00. 2000, pp. 1-59. [ Links ]
19. CONCAWE HEALTH MANAGEMENT GROUP (CHMG). /A survey of European gasoline exposure for the period 1999-2001/. Report 9/02. 2002, pp. 1-59. [ Links ]
20. BABICH, D.R. and BAUER, E.R. Summary of longwall and continuous miner section noise studies in underground coal mines. Mining Engineering, Society for Mining Metallurgy and Exploration, vol. 58, no. 11, pp. 41-46. [ Links ]