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Is there a way to reduce vibrating screen noise?

You’re probably aware how noisy vibrating screens can be. Depending on the type of screens you use, there’s a chance some of your workers may suffer hearing loss. Sure, you’re likely providing them with ear protection, but is there any way you can reduce volume through the source?

The material you choose

The amount of noise your vibrating screens emit depends on the materials from which they’re made. For instance, rubber tension mats are known for being much quieter than steel or even polyurethane alternatives.

However, rubber screening media may not be the most feasible choice. Like many decisions in the business world, you must consider the trade-offs associated with these types of solution.

Let’s start with the positives. For one thing, rubber tension mats can decrease maintenance and downtime costs. This is partly due to the fact they increase the equipment’s ability to resist wear and tear.

However, there are some disadvantages to using rubber tension mats. For example, if the screening media is exposed to wet conditions, it can obstruct the product’s ability to filter smaller material. This is particularly the case when working with sand, because the grains can stick to the rubber over time. 

For the most part, rubber tension mats are valid choices, but consulting with the manufacturer before purchasing them is advisable. The supplier will conduct an assessment of your operation, determining whether rubber, metal or poly screens are most appropriate.

Why pay attention to noise?

Of all the hazards associated with quarrying operations, noise seems like it would be at the bottom of the list. However, a failure to address noise can result in serious work health and safety repercussions.

An experiment conducted by a group of engineers from the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that, in coal preparation facilities, vibrating screens were a significant source of noise.

The researchers concluded that in many cases, workers were exposed to sound levels above 90 A-weighted decibels [db(A)]. 

According to Safe Work Australia’s Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work Code of Practice, exposure to 91db(A) for two hours is the equivalent of 85db(A) for eight hours. This demonstrates how much of an impact typical coal screening operations can have on personnel who do not possess the required hearing protection. 

In regard to coal mining, those in charge of such operations should keep in mind what sort of screening products are best suited for their applications. Rubber screens are therefore often a valid choice for coal facilities. 

Another study carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found hearing loss was the second most common illness among US miners. Between 2000 and 2010, the Mine Safety and Health Administration discovered that individuals working in coal preparation plants submitted 30 per cent of all noise-related injury claims.

How to solve noise issues

Let’s revisit mine screening media. The CDC recognised that rubber products are ideal choices, especially when it comes to coal processing facilities. For example, operations managers can reduce the intense vibrations associated with screen noise by installing rubber tension mats and rubber isolation mounts. In addition to procuring certain kinds of quarry solutions, operations should consider the benefits of conducting a noise assessment.

Safe Work Australia noted these tests are usually conducted by authorised personnel who can check instrument performance, make proper measurements and recommend how operations can reduce excessive volume. 

Source: Locker Group


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