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|Noise control is an important consideration in the design and operation of coal preparation plants. It is essential to understand and control noise sources to provide a safe environment for operating personnel. The average noise exposure levels in a typical coal preparation plant generally range between 95 and 100 db. An operator should not be exposed to noise levels of this magnitude for more than 4 and 2 hr, respectively, according to MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) regulations. The major noise sources in a coal preparation plant include noise from impacting the inside surfaces of steel chutes, vibrating screens, coal crushers, pumps, motors, fans, and blowers. The magnitude of noise varies considerably from one situation to another. NOISE EXPOSURE IN COAL PREPARATION PLANTS Noise regulations established by the Occupational Safety and Health administration (OSHA) are accepted by MSHA relative to caal preparation plants. Fig. 14-43 shows a graph of the time of noise exposure in hours per day to which a worker can be exposed for each A-weighted sound level. According to this graph, a worker is permitted to spend 8 hr in a 90-db noise environment, but that time must be halved when the A-weighted sound level increases 5 db. The noise dosage a worker receives is determined by the ratio of the length of time the worker spends in a particular noise environment divided by the length of time he is permitted to spend in that environment. If the worker is exposed to several different sound levels, his total dosage would be the sum of each of the individual dosages. The equation for determining the dosage is: where C is the actual duration of exposure at a given steady state noise level and T is the noise exposure limit for the level present during the time C According to MSHA regulations, the dosage, D, should not exceed one (1) for any worker for a full day of work. As an example of typical plant noise levels, vibratory screens and crushers emanate noise levels in excess of 90 db at a distance of 3 ft (0.9 m) with no material flow. With material flow, noise level increases 1 to 10 db depending|