Hearing Conservation (Part 1) Noise Assessment, Interpretation of Results and Noise Reduction Options

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1 Hearing Conservation (Part 1) Noise Assessment, Interpretation of Results and Noise Reduction Options

2 This information has been provided by CNA, the only business insurance program endorsed by NPCA. The information, examples and suggestions presented in this material have been developed from sources believed to be reliable, but they should not be construed as legal or other professional advice. CNA accepts no responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of this material and recommends the consultation with competent legal counsel and/or other professional advisors before applying this material in any particular factual situations. This material is for illustrative purposes and is not intended to constitute a contract. Please remember that only the relevant insurance policy can provide the actual terms, coverages, amounts, conditions and exclusions for an insured. All products and services may not be available in all states and may be subject to change without notice. All rights reserved. Any references to non-cna Web sites are provided solely for convenience and CNA disclaims any responsibility with respect thereto. CNA is a registered trademark of CNA Financial Corporation. Copyright 2012 CNA. 2

3 Part 1 Learning Objectives Understand different ways to evaluate workplace noise exposures. List three possible methods for a person to lower their noise exposure. Describe when hearing protection maybe worn voluntary and when is wearing mandatory. 3

4 Separate OSHA Noise Regulations Federal OSHA: General Industry, 29CFR Construction, 29CFR Occupational noise exposure and Hearing protection 4

5 Facts About Hearing Loss More than 40 million Americans have hearing loss. About 40% of the hearing-impaired are under age 65. About 20% of people by age 55 have some form of hearing loss. About 15% of college graduates have a level of hearing loss equal to or greater than their parents; a significant cause is listening to loud music. 5

6 Causes of Hearing Loss Age Disease (middle or inner-ear) Trauma Drugs Noise Exposure 6

7 Noise Exposure Monitoring Serves Various Purposes 1. Interfere with communication or recognition of warning signals 2. Understand which employees should be included in a hearing conservation program 3. Prioritizing noise control efforts 4. Identify specific noise sources 5. Evaluate noise control efforts 7

8 Two Ways of Noise Exposure Monitoring Noise Measurements (area) Noise Exposure (personal) Sound Level Meter Noise Dosimeter Impulsive or Impact Noise 8

9 Area Noise Measurements Measure and map the noise levels around the plant in a grid layout and at various machines. Contour map the high noise sources. Measure the distance away from the noise source. 9

10 Personal Exposure Monitoring Sound Level Meter Estimate exposures at various locations and at various sound levels Good for a steady-state sound level Noise Dosimeter is more effective when: Worker moves around the plant Intermittent high noise exposures 10

11 What if you are exposed to too much noise? Hearing loss makes it hard to: Talk with family, friends and coworkers. Hear warning signals. Enjoy music, nature, voices and other sounds. 11

12 Management Requirements Exposures between 85 to <90dBA- 8Hr TWA Notify the employees of their noise exposures Implement audiometric testing of employees Provide personal hearing protection devices Inform your employees about your Hearing Conservation Program Maintain related record keeping requirements Exposures at 90dBA and greater- 8 Hr TWA 12

13 Proactive Measures Before remodeling or building, determine if noise can be engineered out with design plans. Have noise-level testing done after remodeling and installation of new equipment. Purchase equipment with lowest noise levels. 13

14 Power Tool Database This is an example of the information of the sound levels under load and free spinning. 14

15 Employees Must Wear Hearing Protectors: For any period exceeding 6 months from the time they are first exposed to 8-hr TWA noise exposure of 85dBA or above until they receive their baseline audiogram. Employers have up to 12 months if using a Mobile Audiometric Testing Company. If they have incurred standard threshold shifts that demonstrate they are susceptible to noise. If they are exposed to noise over the permissible exposure limit of 90dBA over an 8-hour TWA. 15

16 Noise Exposure Reduction Engineering Controls Administrative Procedures Personal Protective Equipment (hearing protection) 16

17 Engineering Controls Preventive Maintenance Repair/Replace Process Change Block Noise o Enclosure o Path-barrier Vibration Noise Damping 17

18 Administrative Procedures Employee Responsibility Management Responsibility Scheduling when Fewest Exposed Worker Rotation Training Posting Warning Signage Enforcement 18

19 Provide Hearing Protectors Types of Hearing Protectors Listed Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) Selection of Hearing Protection When Dual Protection is Required 19

20 Calculate Effective Noise Reduction of Hearing Protection A common method used for single protection (either muffs or plugs) is as follows: 1. Subtract 7 from the NRR. 2. Subtract that revised NRR from the Worker s TWA exposure, as follows: Estimated Exposure (dba) = TWA (dba) - (NRR - 7) Example: Worker s TWA = 100 dba. Ear muff s NRR = 19 db Estimated Exposure = [100 - (19-7)] = 88 dba. The worker s equivalent noise exposure is 88 dba. 20

21 Calculate Effective Noise Reduction When Wearing Dual Hearing Protection When dual protection is worn use the following: 1. Select the higher rated of the two protectors (NRR higher ). 2. Subtract 7 db from that protector s NRR. 3. Add just 5 db to the field-adjusted NRR to account for the use of the second hearing protector. Estimated Exposure (dba) = TWA (dba) - [(NRR higher - 7) + 5] Example: Worker s TWA noise exposure was 100 dba. Earmuff NRR = 19 db Estimated Exposure = [100 - (19-7) + 5] = 83 dba If the earmuff is worn correctly, then the worker s equivalent noise exposure is 83 dba. 21

22 Training and Education Provide training not only initially but annually Explain health effects of noise on hearing Communicate purpose of hearing protectors and instructions on selection, fitting, use and care Communicate purpose of audiometric testing, and provide an explanation of the test procedures 22

23 Questions? 23

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