Practical guidance on how to accurately measure for workers’ exposures to noise and dust at stone, sand and gravel facilities was delivered at NSSGA’s latest Noise & Dust workshop, taught by instructors from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration’s Academy in Beckley, W.Va.

As is the practice, the workshop consisted not just of classroom instruction, but also of one day at a nearby quarry – this one owned by Boxley Materials.  At Boxley, students managed miners’ uses of noise and dust measuring equipment, including calibrating and affixing to miners’ uniforms the dosimeter for measuring noise, and cyclone needed for measuring dust exposure. Given the sensitivity of these instruments, the process of learning to effectively manage their use is quite demanding.  Each workshop student is responsible for managing the monitors for two miners because the opportunity to juggle multiple miners’ monitors more aptly resembles the management responsibility of health professionals.

One of the workshop’s nine attendees, Shannon Moreland of Buzzi Unicem said, “Spot on and should be the training standard on this topic.”  Moreland continued by offering that he was given the “knowledge I needed to perform a thorough noise and dust sampling.”

Also, Robert Bodtorf of Gill Rock Drill Co., said that the workshop, “Presented this information in a very practical manner, and in a way that I could apply the science and calculations in a way far beyond the raw mechanics of just taking samples.” Bodtorf continued, “I truly walked away from this course with the confidence to provide a much healthier working environment for our production employees.”

In addition to Boxley, NSSGA thanks MSHA for the lengths to which the agency went to present the workshop, especially given the agency’s recent cutbacks in compliance assistance. NSSGA is intent on continuing to emphasize that MSHA compliance assistance is critical to continued workplace safety and health.

Direct questions to Joseph Casper at jcasper@nssga.org / (703) 526-1074.


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