A Study of Occupational Noise Exposure among Gold Miners at Anglo Gold Ashanti Limited (Obuasi)Author(s): Bernard Kwame Essandoh, E.J.D. Belford, Joyce E Anomah
Underground and surface gold miners working at Anglo Gold Ashanti Limited (Obuasi) are potentially exposed to high noise levels from the mining activities, especially noise emitted by the heavy equipment’s in the mines. Results obtained indicate that there is a statistically significant (P0.05) difference between the mean occupational noise exposure for Continuous Equivalent Level, LAeq.8hrs (92.5 ± 9.00 dB (A)) and the recommended standard of 85 dB (A). The research findings equally indicate that, the primary risk of exposure to noise by miners of AngloGold Ashanti comes from work activities such as drilling, blasting, machine operating, processing, ventilation and transportation. All occupational types were found to be susceptible to noise levels which were potentially harmful. The incidence of tinnitus was found in 56.8% of the miners sampled whilst annoyance, high blood pressure and headaches were found to be 23%. The study highlights that miners are exposed to hazardous noise levels which inevitably affect their hearing acuity. Enforcement in the use of hearing protective devices must therefore be encouraged.