Special Issue 1, December 2009
Article Number: 09
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Occupational noise and hearing conservation of industrial workers in casting, forging industry in Northern India

L.P. Singh, A. Bhardwaj, K.K. Deepak, and S. Singh
Pages 46-51

Abstract—The present study was undertaken to assess the noise exposure and occupational safety and hygiene practices in forging and casting units (SMEs) of Northern India. Both type of industry included high noise processes, main sources of noise in hot forging industry is drop forge hammers, oil fired furnace, pedestal fans, punching and blanking presses, grinding processes, barrelling processes where as in casting units the main sources of noise are machine moulding, grinding and other finishing processes. The study included a personal interview of workers of these units through a comprehensive questionnaire. Information was gathered about the noise exposure in years, use of protective equipments, and awareness about noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). The ambient noise was measured using Quest sound level meter. A long term recording was done in each section then followed by the short term recoding for 15 minutes each. Ambience Noise at various sections was found to be > 90dB (A) permissible limits. Pure tone audiometry was conducted in a portable audiometric room on 60 male workers with age 30-35 yrs and experience 7-12 years, selected from various sections of casting and forging processes. Workers engaged in forging and grinding sections are more prone to NIHL. There is moderate to severe loss of hearing threshold (dB) in at higher frequencies however minor to moderate loss at lower frequencies. The workers of other sections were found with minor loss of hearing threshold at these frequencies. Study recommended that there is a great need that; small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be encouraged to implement occupational noise management and hearing conservation programmes.

Keywords—occupational hazards, occupational health, NIHL in SMEs.