High noise levels in mining continue to be a major hazard for workers. Several noisy activities are at play throughout an employee’s shift, from machinery noise to drills.
Exposure to too much noise can cause permanent hearing loss, which is why workers in the resources industry are among the most prevalent sufferers of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).
To ensure their staff didn’t become NIHL statistics, Rio Tinto wanted a solution that would improve the safety and comfort of staff who performed and supervised noisy tasks. Rio Tinto Copper and Coal approached Flexshield for a solution to excessive noise in their maintenance facility at their Hunter Valley operations.
The project’s biggest challenge was the sheer size of the machinery to be maintained. Flexshield determined that the best acoustic option was our Sonic Mobile panels, a combination of our Sonic System acoustic modular panel and industrial strength lockable castors. The Sonic System panel is non-combustible and is ideal for interior and exterior applications.
Flexshield manufactured three 2100 mm H x 1835 W Sonic Mobiles. The flexibility of the acoustic panels meant Rio Tinto could use them individually or butt them together to make a larger screen that would cover a bigger area.
A Rio Tinto representative commented, “The sound panels have been a great addition to our safety equipment used at our Hunter Valley operations. Using them predominantly for air arc gouging sound suppression, they have been fantastic in reducing the noise exposure to those working in the immediate area.”
“We have also been making use of them for welding screens and sound panels when performing talks with excessively loud air tooling. While we have not performed before-and-after testing, the noise levels within 5m of the job have reduced significantly, to the point that you can hold a conversation while air arc gouging is taking place behind the screens.”
Servicing customers across Australia, Flexshield manufactures a complete range of noise control solutions and flexible safety screens that are ideal for every industry where work is performed up to 2m above the ground. Most gouging on the loaders exposes employees to excessive noise in the surrounding area. However, the results are fantastic when work is carried out at ground level as illustrated.
For more information about custom noise control solutions for mining, contact Flexshield on 1300 799 969.
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