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Identification Of Noise Sources On Longwall Panels Using Multiple Time-Synchronized Dosimeters
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    Noise is one of the most pervasive health hazards in mining. A compilation of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) noise survey data for fiscal year 1990 shows that approximately 40% of the total samples taken for longwall occupations exceeded the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 100% (Gigliotti et al., 1991). To effectively determine worker noise exposures on longwall coal mining systems, it is necessary to provide accurate baseline measurements for these mining systems. This research was designed to develop measurement methods and test procedures for identifying noise sources that are major contributors to the underground noise exposure of longwall coal mining system workers. The measurement system that was used to analyze the noise sources around a stageloader used stationary dosimeters in a documented repeatable pattern to record the sound pressure and dose levels. A time-motion study of the cutting cycle and stageloader operator’s work cycle was done to correlate the sound levels at measurement locations and the resulting operator’s daily dose with significant noise events. Results from the underground measurements show that the highest sound levels recorded were at the stageloader discharge segment and tailpiece controls, where sound levels remained about the same throughout the test.

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