Date of Award
MS Industrial Hygiene
Tumbling operators are exposed to loud occupational noises when loading and unloading the metal products in tumbling machines. The increase in the number of hearing loss injuries in the metal stamping industry initiated OSHA’s Special Emphasis Programs in designated industries and locations across the United States. Because occupational hearing loss injuries do not manifest themselves until years later, it is critical that employers install engineering controls immediately in order to protect worker’s hearing and prevent hearing loss injuries.
Tumbling machines come in a variety of configurations. In addition to sound absorption material that can be installed on floors, ceilings, and walls, noise covers can also be custom-made and installed on tumbling machines. This study analyzed the effectiveness of custom-made tumbling noise covers in reducing the sound levels generated from the tumbling machines and reducing the operator’s noise exposures. Noise measurements and personal noise exposure were obtained prior to the installation of the noise cover and after the installation of the noise cover.
The sound level and noise exposure results indicate that the noise cover is an effective control in reducing the sound levels produced by the tumbling machine and reducing noise exposures for the tumbling operators. Sound levels and operator’s noise exposures can be further reduced through the combination of machine configuration, hearing protection, use of absorption material to cover the walls, ceilings, and floors, enclosing the machines in a separate room, and the use of noise covers over the tumbling machines.
Kroening, Anna, "REDUCING NOISE EXPOSURES PRODUCED BY VIBRATORY FINISHING MACHINES" (2016). Graduate Theses & Non-Theses. 85.