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Administrative controls for reducing worker noise exposures

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  • Description:
    Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) continues to be a concern of the mining industry. A new noise standard (30 CFR, Part 62) is aimed at reducing NIHL in mining through engineering and administrative noise controls. However, the difficulty and expense of implementing engineering controls can make administrative controls an attractive alternative for reducing worker noise exposure. Over the last three years, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has conducted worker noise exposure surveys in underground and surface coal mines and in coal preparation plants. The surveys revealed numerous possible administrative controls and an approach to implementation and analysis. The surveys have shown that worker dosimetry, time-motion studies and equipment noise profiling are important aspects of effectively utilizing administrative controls. A description of the approach for selecting, implementing and evaluating administrative controls and a list of possible administrative controls are reported.
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