Investigation of noise exposure of heavy equipment operators in surface mines [Açik maden işletmelerindeki iş makinesi operatörlerinin gürültü maruziyetinin incelenmesi]
Though hearing loss may appear to emerge as an occupational disease related to noise, when its effects on human body is considered it can be realized that it constitutes an important place in the causes of occupational accidents. In this study noise measurements were taken from 67 units of mining machinery of different types and models used in the mining operations. Among them dumpers, hydraulic backhoes, crawled dozers, graders, wheeled front-end loaders, wheeled ibrating rollers, hydraulic breakers, drills, bucket wheel excavators, their integrated tripper cars, spreaders, bucket wheel type coal loaders, coal spreaders and backhoe loaders can be mentioned. Noise measurements were taken from a total of six mining workplaces, including a road construction work, a sand quarry, an open limestone quarry, an open iron mine, an open gold mine and an open coal mine. Crawled dozer ranks the highest in noise exposure while coal loader/spreader ranks the lowest. On the basis of mining equipment, the lowest noise exposure was recorded mostly in the waiting phase while the highest occurred when the machines performed their basic functions.