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Using software to predict occupational hearing loss in the mining industry

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2016, Vol. 340, No. 1, pp. 92-99

Azman, A.S.; Li, M.; Thompson, J.K.



Powerful mining systems typically generate high-level noise that can damage the hearing ability of miners. Engineering noise controls are the most desirable and effective control for overexposure to noise. However, the effects of these noise controls on the actual hearing status of workers are not easily measured. A tool that can provide guidance in assigning workers to jobs based on the noise levels to which they will be exposed is highly desirable. Therefore, the Pittsburgh Mining Research Division (PMRD) of the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed a tool to estimate in a systematic way the hearing loss due to occupational noise exposure and to evaluate the effectiveness of developed engineering controls. This computer program is based on the ISO 1999 standard and can be used to estimate the loss of hearing ability caused by occupational noise exposures. In this paper, the functionalities of this software are discussed and several case studies related to mining machinery are presented to demonstrate the functionalities of this software.