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Modified tail section reduces noise on a continuous mining machine

Mining Engineering , 2011, Vol. 63, No. 7, pp. 83-85

Smith, A.K.; Zimmerman, J.J.; Michael, R.; Kovalchik, P.G.


Overexposure to noise remains a widespread, serious health hazard in the U.S. mining industry. Most other categories of illnesses and injuries associated with mining have improved, with the exception of hearing loss. U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) coal noise data from 2000-2004 show that the continuous mining machine (CMM) is first among all equipment, accounting for 35% of noise overexposures. Joy Mining Machinery, in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is conducting research to reduce noise generated by continuous mining machines. This paper describes a “JOY-Designed for Noise Reduction” (JOY-DNR; patent pending) tail section as a noise control for reducing the noise overexposures of CMM operators. Underground testing shows a 45% to 65% noise exposure reduction for the operator when comparing the JOY-DNR tail section results to those for a standard machine. Utilizing this newly developed noise control, along with previously proven controls, will provide CMM operators an opportunity to be within the MSHA permissible exposure limit (MSHA-PEL).