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12/4/2019 - How to Prevent Infectious Diseases in the Workplace

Germs are a part of day-to-day life and are all around us in the soil, air and in your body. While some pathogens can be helpful, others aren't. Many live on and in your body without causing harm, ...

Workplace Noise Surveys, Testing and Evaluations

Simply stated, noise is unwanted sound. It is well documented that as sound levels increase so does hearing loss. Additionally, occupational 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 Assessments

1Source Safety and Health wants to help your business identify workplace noise and implement safer working conditions for employees. Together, we can better understand your working environment noise through the following assessments and resources:

  • 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

What Is a Workplace Noise Survey?

A noise survey involves taking noise measurements throughout a facility, or sections thereof, to identify areas with potential noise hazards. The survey helps to reveal areas of harmful noise levels and the employees who may be exposed to this risk. In addition, it looks to identify machines or other pieces of equipment which produce harmful noise levels.

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 reduce risk.

Identifying Noise Exposure in the Workplace

In order to determine if there is a noise hazard 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 walkthrough include:

  • Is the noise louder than city streets during heavy traffic?
  • Do employees need to raise their voices to talk to each other when standing 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?

Noise Exposure Evaluations

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 can also provide noise assessments to evaluate 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 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 on sensitive receptor sites such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, residential areas and parks.

Need more information, or a proposal? Please fill out an Information Request form, or contact Colin J. Brigham, CIH, CSP, CPE, CPEA, CSPHP, Vice President Safety Management and Ergonomics at 610-524-5525, Ext. 24.

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