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.
It was observed that amount of broken rice decreased from 18.83 to 9.97%, when rollers differential speed varied from 1.5 to 5 m s -1 , while the husking index initially increased and then started to decrease. The mean value of husking index for Khazar variety (64.71%) was significantly lower than that for Binam variety (69.2%). It was concluded that rollers differential speed of 2.9 m s -1 and moisture content of 8-9% was the most appropriate combination for paddy husking of Binam and Khazar varieties in rubber roller husker.