New Guidance Showcases Effective Mining Noise Controls

Program Information Bulletin No. P08-12, published and posted Wednesday by MSHA at  www.msha.gov, is a document that describes effective controls for noise emitted by 23 types of machines used in mines -- everything from roof bolting machines and longwalls to diesel locomotives and dredges. The document states that it is a reissuance of P04-18 due to recent NIOSH/MSHA upgrades of promising controls for continuous mining machines, roof bolters, and stone saws.

Issued under the signatures of Kevin Stricklin and Felix Quintana, respectively MSHA administrators for coal and metal and nonmetal mines, plus Mark Skiles, the agency's director of technical support, the bulletin points out that all feasible engineering and administrative controls must be used to reduce miners' exposures if those exposures exceed the permissible exposure limit. Only then may PPE be provided and used.

The measures contained in the bulletin involve limting the duration of equipment's use, rotating personnel out of noisy areas, placing mufflers and exhaust outlets, remote controls and automated machinery, and proper maintenance of equipment, among other things.  

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