10 May 2011.
At the Auckland Branch Meeting held our sponsors venue, Gough CAT commenced the evening with Sales Manager Tony Smith reviewing factors attributed to increased operator comfort and safety, with an particular emphasis on hearing.
It’s not that many years ago when machine operators sat in open cabs exposed to noisy engine exhausts which meant operators had maximum exposure to noise levels approaching 115 dBa for many hours at a time. Operators of modern machinery have virtually sound-proofed vehicles with noise levels often at 70dBa or less.
The following table is a useful guide to understanding the threshold of Hearing
|Quiet Room||45 dBA|
|Conversation||55 dBA = 45 dBA x 10|
|Car (80kph at 15m)||65 dBA = 45 dBA x 100|
|End Loader (In Good Cab)||75 dBA = 45 dBA x 1,000|
|Haul Truck (In Good Cab)||85 dBA = 45 dBA x 10,000|
|Crusher||95 dBA = 45 dBA x 100,000|
|Old Dozer (No Cab)||105 dBA = 45 dBA x 1,000,000|
|Air Track Drill (No Controls)||115 dBA = 45 dBA x 10,000,000|
We were reminded that the noise levels are measured on a logarithmic scale – louder the noise, the more
hazardous it is. Also, the longer the exposure time, the more hazardous the noise is.
Geoff Wright, Goughs Northern Regional Manager shared with us their company’s commitment to safety in
the workplace and the measures they had taken wiith staff involvement to reduce the incidence of
work-place lost time injuries.
The Health and Safety Review presented by the Manukau Branch Department of Labour’s Health and Safety
Inspectors Hans Key, and George Wheatley. It was disturbing to see photos of unguarded sprocket and
chains, and inadequate tail-drum nip points as well as workshops where inflammable liquids (solvents)
were not stored in dedicated fire-proofed areas. While the incidence of H&S compliance generally has
improved it was clear that there is still work to be done in our industry.