Tag Archives: noise mitigation

Applications of Noise Control in the Mining Industry

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According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), “Overexposure to noise remains a widespread, serious health hazard in the US mining industries despite 25 years of regulation” (McBride, 2004).

Noise has been considered a problem in the mining industry for many years, and the gradual growth in mechanization over the last century has resulted in increased noise levels in many sectors (Sensogut, 2007). In fact, it is currently estimated that 80% of US miners work in an environment where the time-weighted noise average exceeds 85 dB, and in 25% of these cases the workers are exposed to noise levels of 90dB or higher (McBride, 2004). 

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Proactive Noise Control – Planning a Facility with Noise In Mind

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Hindsight is 20-20, even when it comes to noise control. Older facilities may be limited in their ability to accommodate the most efficient noise control solutions, sometimes requiring costly retrofits in order to meet noise regulations. However, if you are still in the planning phase of a new facility, now is the ideal time to take the noise impact into consideration. Doing so as early as possible will allow you to maximize the value of your noise control investment and minimize risk of noise complaints.

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Applications and Limitations of Acoustical Walls

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Though acoustical walls do have their applications as noise control measures, these applications are limited by the nature and behaviour of sound itself. While acoustical walls can be engineered using materials that absorb noise to minimize the reflection of sound off the barrier, sound can still diffract, traveling over and around the wall. Placing an acoustical wall on one side of a noise source mitigates noise in the space directly adjacent to the wall, opposite the sound source, known as the wall’s sound shadow. The only significant sound attenuation an acoustical wall can perform is found within this sound shadow created by the wall. If the receiver point or affected residence falls outside of the sound shadow, a wall provides little to no attenuation value.

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