Home Email this page Print this page Bookmark this page Decrease font size Default font size Increase font size
Noise & Health  
 CURRENT ISSUE    PAST ISSUES    AHEAD OF PRINT    SEARCH   GET E-ALERTS    
 
 Next article
 Previous article
Table of Contents

Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Citation Manager
Access Statistics
Reader Comments
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)
 

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed10238    
    Printed232    
    Emailed8    
    PDF Downloaded177    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 2    

Recommend this journal

 

 ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 39  |  Page : 55--67

Occupational noise in rice mills


North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology, Nirjuli - 791 109, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
G V Prasanna Kumar
Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur - 721 302, West Bengal
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.40824

Rights and Permissions

Background: A major occupational hazard for the workers in rice mills is the noise during the operation of various machines. A noise survey was conducted in the workrooms of eight renowned rice mills of the north-eastern region of India established during the period between 1980 and 1985. The rice mills were selected on the basis of the outcome of a walk-through noise survey involving several rice mills of the region. A noise survey map of each rice mill was drawn to identify the predominant noise sources and the causes of high noise in the workrooms of the rice mill. The sound-pressure level (SPL) in the workrooms of the rice mill varied from 78 to 92 dBA. The paddy cleaner, rubber roll sheller, compartment separator, rice cleaner, auxiliary sieve shaker and an electric motor without enclosure were found to be the predominant noise sources in the workrooms of the mill. The causes of high noise in the rice mills may be attributed to the use of a long flat belt drive, crank-and-pitman mechanism, absence of an electric motor enclosure, poor machine maintenance and inadequate acoustic design of the workroom of the rice mill. About 26% of the total labourers were found to be exposed to higher levels of noise than 85 dBA. Subjective response indicated that about 26% of the total labourers felt noise interferes in their work and about 49% labourers were of opinion that noise interferes with their conversation. Context: Noise from machines in the rice mills was found to be the major occupational hazard for the rice mill workers. The predominant noise sources need to be identified and the causes of high noise need to be studied to undertake the appropriate measures to reduce the noise level. Aims: To identify the predominant noise sources and their distributions in rice mills, to study the causes of high levels of noise in rice mills and to examine the response of the workers towards noise. Settings and Design: A noise survey was conducted in eight renowned rice mills of the north-eastern region of India. The mills were selected based on a walk-through survey conducted for the identification of rice mills with high noise. A noise survey map of each rice mill was collected by following the guidelines of Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). The distribution of high noise in rice mills was studied and the causes of high noise were identified. The subjective response to noise in rice mills was assessed by conducting personal interview with all the workers of the rice mills using a structured form. Methods and Material: The guidelines of CCOHS were followed during the noise survey. A sound level meter (SLM; Model-824) was used to record the noise level at each grid point marked at 1 m 1 m. SPL in weighting scale "A" and the noise spectrum were recorded at each grid point for 30 s and data were stored in SLM. A noise survey map of equivalent SPL was drawn for each rice mill by drawing contour lines on the sketch of the rice mill between the points of equal SPL. The floor area in the rice mill where SPL exceeded 85 dBA was identified from the noise survey map of each rice mill to determine the causes of high levels of noise. In order to study the variation in SPL in the workroom of the rice mill throughout the shift, equivalent SPL was measured at six locations in each rice mill. The subjective response to noise in rice mills was assessed by conducting personal interview with all the workers of the rice mills using a structured form. Demographic information, nature of work, working hours, rest period, experience of working in mill, degree of noise annoyance, activity interference, and psychological and physiological effects of machine noise on the worker were asked during the interview. Statistical Analysis Used: Nil. Results: The noise survey in eight select rice mills of the major paddy-growing regions of India revealed that the workrooms of five rice mills had SPL more than 85 dBA in the locations where workers were engaged for most of the time. The predominant noise sources in the rice mills were paddy cleaner, rubber roll sheller, compartment separator, rice cleaner, sieve shaker and an electric motor without enclosure. The causes of high noise in the rice mills may be due to the use of a long flat belt drive, crank-and-pitman mechanism, absence of an electric motor enclosure, poor machine maintenance and inadequate acoustic design of the workroom in the rice mill. In general, a well-maintained rice mill with each machine being run individually using an electric motor produced less noise than that being run using a single electric motor along with flat belt drives. The normal working period in the rice mill was 48 h/week and it was 56 h/week during the peak season of rice milling. About 26% of the total workers were exposed to noise of more than 85 dBA. Subjective response indicated that about 26% of the total workers felt noise interferes in their work and about 49% workers were of opinion that noise interferes with their conversation. Conclusions: The workers in the rice mills are exposed to high noise, which will have detrimental effect on their health. Apart from undertaking appropriate noise control measures, preventive maintenance of machines needs to be given due importance in all the rice mills.






[FULL TEXT] [PDF]*


        
Print this article     Email this article