The influence of vibration and noise from a handheld pneumatic (sculptors) chisel on the human cardiovascular system
Du Plessis, Johannes
Van Aarde, Michiel
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Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in the South African mining industry can be prevented, but only by incorporating more proactive and innovative measures into NIHL prevention programmes. At present, direct and indirect costs to the mining industry resulting from occupational noise are unacceptable and, more importantly, mineworkers' quality of life is being eroded. Researchers at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Laboratory for Mining Innovation (LMI) propose that the large databases of audiometric results available at mines in South Africa be analysed in ways that will provide information to prevent NIHL by early identification and by proactive intervention in areas of the mines where trends in hearing loss indicate at-risk groups and workplaces. The management of hearing loss prevention would therefore take place at a macro level. The method also proposes a hearing-loss risk matrix as a tool for collating information about each worker in a format that can be used for counseling and for education and training for NIHL prevention, so that "case- or micro-management" measures can be applied. This matrix, together with audiometric database analysis (ADA) for monitoring NIHL risks across the workforce, would enable a two-tiered or macro- and micro-management approach that could contribute to finally eradicating NIHL in the South African mining industry.