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12/5/2017 - OSHA's Top Stories

1Source Safety and Health, Inc. has been and continues to be committed to providing the highest level of expertise to our clients. We are pleased to announce that ...

Workplace Noise Surveys, Testing and Evaluations

WHY MEASURE WORKPLACE NOISE

Simply stated, noise is unwanted sound. It is well documented that as sound levels increase so does hearing loss. Additionally, noise can interfere with communication which can result in accidents (particularly around moving equipment). Workplace noise also contributes to reduced productivity and increased error rates. A workplace noise survey, testing or evaluation can help mitigate risk exposure due to noise.

Noise Exposure Evaluation and Control are conducted to assess:

  • Worker Exposure / Overexposure to Noise
  • Need for Hearing Conservation Programs
    • Hearing (Audiometric) Testing
    • Engineering Controls
    • Hearing Protection Devices
    • Administrative Controls
  • Community Noise Levels
  • Workplace Noise Levels
  • Workers' Compensation Noise Litigation Support
  • Speech Interference
  • Effectiveness of Control Approaches
  • OSHA and Community Noise Compliance

IDENTIFYING NOISE PROBLEMS IN THE WORKPLACE

In order to determine if there is a noise problem in the workplace, a walk-through of the premises should be conducted. While there are many indicators of potentially hazardous noise levels, a few to look for on a walk through include:
  • Is the noise louder than busy city traffic?
  • Do employees need to raise their voice to talk to someone approximately an arm’s length distance away?
  • Do employees complain of ringing or humming in the ears when they leave the workplace?

 What can be done to diminish or eliminate these undesirable effects caused by noise?

WHAT IS A NOISE SURVEY?

A noise survey takes noise measurements throughout the facility, or sections thereof, to identify areas with potential noise hazards. The survey helps to identify areas of harmful noise levels and the employees who may be exposed to this risk. In addition, it looks to identify machines or equipment which generate harmful levels of noise.
After the survey is conducted, and all points of risk identified, a noise survey map can be drawn. From there, noise control options are explored to reduce noise exposure. Furthermore, continuous noise monitoring can be implemented to further mitigate risk.

EMPLOYEE NOISE COMPLIANCE

A typical approach to assess employee noise exposures and the related complaints may include:
  • Sound level measurements, both instantaneous and integrated
  • Noise dosimetry on employees
  • Octave band analysis
  • Evaluation of variables
  • Sound level mapping
  • Data analysis, including noise levels and audiometric testing
  • Recommendations for controls to reduce or eliminate exposure
Hearing Conservation Program development, review and revision recommendations.
1Source Safety and Health can also provide noise assessments to assess potential noise exposure prior to the installation of new equipment. This will allow for the development and implementation of engineering controls to reduce sound emissions and transmission before equipment installation.

COMMUNITY NOISE COMPLIANCE

The certified professionals at 1Source Safety and Health have the experience and expertise to quantitate noise emissions from facilities that have significant noise generating sources. Examples include cooling towers, vehicle traffic, ventilation and dust collectors, grinding equipment and so on.

These noise sources become more of a concern to communities between the hours of 10:00 pm and 7:00 am. Additional concerns include noise impacts sensitive receptor sites such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, residential areas, parks etc.

 

Need more information, or a proposal? Please click on Information Request, or contact Colin J. Brigham, CIH, CSP, CPE, CPEA, CSPHP, Vice President Safety Management and Ergonomics at 610.524.5525, Ext. 24 or email.

 

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