PROTECTING MINERS’ HEARING WHILE FACILITATING COMMUNICATION

World Mining Congress
Many miners are exposed to dangerously high levels of noise on a daily basis. Over the past 15 years, a continually increasing number of occupational hearing loss has been reported from the mining community in the United States, of which, more than 95% is attributed to prolonged noise exposure. Although the noise exposure levels may differ between coal miners and metal and non-metal miners, in the absence of noise control at the source, the solution is the same: use of personal hearing protection devices (HPD). While protecting the miners’ hearing it is also essential to no longer hinder their ability to communicate. With access to an advanced HPD that is customized to the miners’ ears we are able to combine these two requirements. Using an intra-aural instantly custom molded HPD miners are protected from high levels of noise. The HPD is equipped with wireless capabilities, and contains both a speaker and an In-Ear Microphone (IEM). Therefore, the miners’ speech may be captured from inside the ear and transmitted to the remote listener. This IEM signal is relatively noise-free since it is isolated from the background noise.
Keywords: Noise; Communication; Communications; Protection; Frequency; Environment; Health; Noise exposure; Algorithm;
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