HAZARD: MSHA HEALTH STANDARDS FOR OCCUPATIONAL NOISE EXPOSURE FOR MINING
ORIGIN: Moldex® Technical Services Department
REVIEWED/UPDATED: August 2021
The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) Occupational Noise Exposure regulation became effective on September 13, 2000. This updated regulation supersedes the old MSHA noise regulations and imposes much stricter requirements on mine operators to ensure that their miners are not overexposed to noise.
The old regulations were codified under four different regulations depending upon the type of mine and were first promulgated in the early 1970’s. The new regulation is codified under one regulation and covers all mines. The new regulation is 30CFR Part 62. It is very similar to OSHA’s General Industry Noise Exposure standard 29 CFR 1910.95.
In summary, this regulation requires that mine operators:
- Establish a system of monitoring to evaluate each miner’s noise exposure.
- Provide an opportunity for miners and their representatives to observe monitoring.
- Notify miners of overexposures when levels equal or exceed the PEL or dual hearing protection level.
- Include miners in a hearing conservation program when exposures exceed the action level of 85dBA. This includes training, audiometric testing, recordkeeping, and required or voluntary use of protectors (depending on exposure levels).
- Use engineering and administrative controls and ensure the use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) when levels exceed the PEL of 90dBA.
- Never permit exposures to exceed 115dBA.
- Require use of earplugs and earmuffs at the same time when exposure levels exceed 105dBA, known as the dual hearing protection level.
- Allow miners to choose from at least two earplugs and two earmuffs.
Moldex® suggests the use of any of our hearing protection devices including foam and reusable earmuffs and hearing bands. This new regulation will provide us with opportunities to get more of our products into the mines because of the requirements. Target mines of all types in your areas and encourage operators to try our products. Remind them that each operator must offer at least two types of earplugs and two types of muffs to their miners at no cost to the employees. Act as an information resource to these mine operators.
Reference And Resources
WARNING: The information contained in this Tech Brief is dated and was accurate to the best of Moldex’s knowledge, on the date above. It is not meant to be comprehensive, nor is it intended to be used in place of the warning/use instructions that accompany Moldex respirators. Outside of the USA, check with all applicable and local government regulations.
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