ASA 128th Meeting - Austin, Texas - 1994 Nov 28 .. Dec 02

3aNS2. Noise exposures in U.S. coal mines.

John P. Seiler

M. P. Valoski

M. A. Crivaro

U.S. Dept. of Labor, MSHA, P.O. Box 18233, Pittsburgh, PA 15236

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) inspectors conduct full-shift environmental noise surveys to determine the occupational noise levels to which coal miners are exposed. These noise surveys are performed to determine compliance with the noise standard promulgated under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. Data from over 60 000 full-shift noise surveys conducted from Fiscal Year 1986 through 1992 were entered into a computer database to facilitate analysis. This paper presents the mean and standard deviation of over 60 000 full-shift noise dose measurements for various underground and surface coal mining occupations. Additionally, it compares and contrasts the levels with historical noise exposure measurements for selected coal mining occupations that were published in the 1970s. The findings were that the percentage of miners surveyed that were subjected to noise exposures above 100%, neglecting personal hearing protectors, were 26.5% and 21.6% for surface and underground mining, respectively. Generally, the trend is that the noise exposures for selected occupations have decreased since the 1970s.