Farm noise emissions during common agricultural activities

Depczynski, J., Franklin, R.C., Challinor, K., Williams, W., and Fragar, L.J. (2005) Farm noise emissions during common agricultural activities. Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, 11 (3). pp. 325-334.

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Abstract

Noise injury in agriculture is a significant yet often unrecognized problem. Many farmers, farm workers, and family members are exposed to noise levels above recommended levels and have greater hearing loss than their non-farming contemporaries. The aim of this study was to gather up-to-date information on farm noise levels and to enhance the quality of information available to assist farmers in reducing noise exposure and meeting Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations regarding noise management. Farm visits were conducted on 48 agricultural establishments that produce a range of commodities. Noise levels were measured at the ears of operators and bystanders involved in typical activities on farms. The average and peak noise levels were measured for 56 types of machinery or sites of farming activity, totaling 298 separate items and activities. Common noise hazards identified included firearms, tractors without cabs, workshop tools, small motors (e.g., chainsaws, augers, pumps), manual handling of pigs, shearing sheds, older cabbed tractors, and heavy machinery such as harvesters, bulldozers, and cotton module presses. We found that use of firearms without hearing protection presents a pressing hearing health priority. However, farming activities involving machinery used for prolonged periods also present significant risks to farmers' hearing health. Noise management strategies on the farm are essential in order to prevent noise injury among farmers.

Item ID: 16771
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: farmers, farm machinery, farm worker, hearing, noise, tractor
ISSN: 1943-7846
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2011 05:27
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control @ 100%
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