Hearing Conservation Program

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1 Hearing Cnservatin Prgram FOREWORD Nise-induced hearing lss (NIHL) is a permanent and irreversible ccupatinal illness due t expsure t excessive nise. The Occupatinal Safety and Health Administratin (OSHA) established 29 CFR and 29 CFR , Occupatinal Nise Expsure, t limit emplyee expsure t hazardus nise. The standards include a Permissible Expsure Limit (PEL) f 90 decibels, A-weighted, (dba) as an 8-hur time-weighted average (TWA) with a dubling rate f 5 dba and an actin level f 85 dba fr ccupatinal expsure t nise. 29 CFR als includes requirements fr expsure mnitring, audimetric testing, use f hearing prtectin devices (HPD), training, and recrdkeeping. This Hearing Cnservatin Prgram has been develped t prtect University f Virginia Facilities Management (FM) emplyees frm expsure t excessive nise and cmplies with 29 CFR and 29 CFR While implementing cntrl measures t further reduce ccupatinal expsure t nise, emplyees may be enrlled in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. Elements f this prgram include: expsure mnitring, audimetric testing, engineering and administrative cntrls, HPD, training, recrdkeeping, and prgram evaluatin. DOCUMENT HISTORY Versin Date Cmments 1 January, 2016 Initial Hearing Cnservatin Prgram

2 Table f Cntents Hearing Cnservatin Prgram... i Frewrd... i Dcument Histry... i Table f Cntents... ii Acrnyms... iv 1.0 Intrductin Rles and Respnsibilities Healthcare Prviders Supervisrs Emplyees Expsure Mnitring Expsure Limits Hearing Cnservatin Prgram Enrllment Enrlling Emplyees in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram Remving Emplyees frm the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram Audimetric Testing Infrmatin Prvided t Healthcare Prviders Review f Audigram Results Revised Baseline Cntrls Administrative Cntrls Engineering Cntrls...11 Hearing Cnservatin Prgram ii

3 6.3 Evaluating Nise Surces Hearing Prtectin Devices Types f Hearing Prtectin Devices Nise Reductin Rating (NRR) Training Recrdkeeping Prgram Evaluatin...14 Hearing Cnservatin Prgram iii

4 ACRONYMS ANSI CAOHC CFR db dba EHS HPD Hz NIHL NRR OSHA PEL STS TWA American Natinal Standards Institute Cuncil f Accreditatin in Occupatinal Hearing Cnservatin Cde f Federal Regulatins Decibel Decibel, A-weighted Envirnmental Health and Safety Office Hearing Prtectin Device Hertz Nise Induced Hearing Lss Nise Reductin Rating Occupatinal Safety and Health Administratin Permissible Expsure Limit Standard Threshld Shift Time-Weighted Average Hearing Cnservatin Prgram iv

5 1.0 INTRODUCTION This Hearing Cnservatin Prgram is established t fulfill OSHA s requirement fr establishing a site-specific written prgram as detailed in 29 CFR , Occupatinal Nise Expsure. This written prgram details requirements fr key elements such as audimetric testing, training, and recrdkeeping. (FM-OHS) wrks with varius FM departments t implement nise cntrls which prtect emplyees frm ccupatinal hearing lss. 2.0 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES This Hearing Cnservatin Prgram fr FM persnnel is a cperative effrt between the FM-OHS, healthcare prviders, supervisrs, and emplyees. Specific respnsibilities relating t this Hearing Cnservatin Prgram are utlined belw. 2.1 Specific respnsibilities f FM-OHS related t the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram are t: Cnduct nise expsure mnitring in accrdance with 29 CFR when: Infrmatin suggests emplyee nise expsure may equal r exceed the actin level; It is determined that current HPD used are n lnger adequate due t a change in prductin, prcess, r equipment; and/r An emplyee has experienced a Standard Threshld Shift (STS). Ntify emplyees r grups f emplyees f expsure mnitring results. Enrll an emplyee in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram after learning that an emplyee is assigned t a wrk area r cmbinatin f wrk areas where the ccupatinal nise expsure is knwn t exceed the actin level fr ccupatinal nise. Ntify emplyees and their supervisrs in writing when an emplyee r grup f emplyees is enrlled in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. Train persnnel enrlled in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram at initial enrllment and annually thereafter. Crdinate baseline audimetric testing within 6 mnths f an emplyee s enrllment in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. Crdinate annual audimetric testing fr all emplyee enrlled in s Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. Prvide the healthcare prvider with a cpy f the fllwing: 29 CFR s Hearing Cnservatin Prgram; and Hearing Cnservatin Prgram 5

6 The emplyee s baseline and mst recent audigrams, including the measured backgrund sund pressure levels and recrds f audimetric calibratins. Obtain a written pinin including the audigram frm the healthcare prvider. Crdinate fllw-up medical evaluatins recmmended by the healthcare prvider per 29 CFR Revise the baseline audigram if the hearing threshld n an annual audigram shws significant imprvement frm the baseline audigram. Arrange fr a re-test within 30 days f results f initial audimetric testing if the audigram reading suggests that an STS has ccurred. If the repeat audigram shws a persistent STS: Ntify the affected individual in writing within 21 days f cnfirmatin f a persistent STS due t ccupatin expsure t nise. Revise the baseline audigram against which future results will be cmpared. Infrm Wrkers Cmpensatin Specialist f any STS s it can be reflected n the OSHA 300 Lg. The age crrectin calculatin used in 29 CFR Appendix F will be used and cnsidered prir t reprting an STS n the 300 Lgs. Evaluate nise surces and cnsider feasible engineering and administrative cntrls that may be used t reduce emplyee expsure t ccupatinal nise belw the actin level. Evaluate the effectiveness f administrative and engineering cntrls by measuring the sund pressure levels. Recmmend HPD fr emplyees expsed t nise in excess f the actin level. Fr emplyees wh have experienced an STS, re-train the emplyee n the fit, use, care, and limitatin f HPD and re-evaluate the effectiveness and fit f HPD used. Remve enrlled emplyees frm the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram upn receipt f ne f the fllwing: Nise expsure mnitring results that shw administrative r engineering cntrls have been implemented and have reduced emplyee expsure t ccupatinal nise belw the actin level. Ntificatin that an emplyee s jb respnsibilities change s that the emplyee is n lnger a member f a similar expsure grup included in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. Ntificatin that the emplyee has terminated emplyment. Ntify emplyees and their supervisrs in writing when an emplyee r grup f emplyees is remved frm the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. Crdinate exit audimetric testing. Hearing Cnservatin Prgram 6

7 Maintain training recrds, audimetric test recrds, and any medical reprts related t 29 CFR fr the duratin f emplyment. Cnduct prgram evaluatin. 2.2 Healthcare Prviders A healthcare prvider fr the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram is a licensed r certified audilgist, tlarynglgist, r ther physician, r a technician wh is certified by the Cuncil f Accreditatin in Occupatinal Hearing Cnservatin (CAOHC), r wh has satisfactrily demnstrated cmpetence in administering audimetric examinatins, btaining valid audigrams, and prperly using, maintaining and checking calibratin and prper functining f the audimeters being used. A technician wh perates micrprcessr audimeters des nt need t be certified. A technician wh perfrms audimetric tests must be respnsible t an audilgist, tlarynglgist r physician. Specific respnsibilities f healthcare prviders related t s Hearing Cnservatin Prgram are t: Verify that the emplyee has avided high levels f ccupatinal and nn-ccupatinal nise fr at least 14 hurs prir t audimetric testing and reschedule if this has nt ccurred. Cnduct audimetric testing as utlined in 29 CFR and 29 CFR Ntify FM-OHS if any medical cnditin related t the use f HPD are fund during the audimetric examinatin. Infrm emplyee f the need fr tlgical examinatin if a medical cnditin unrelated t the use f HPD is suspected. Prvide FM-OHS with a written pinin cntaining a cpy f the audigram fllwing each audimetric evaluatin. Cnduct a re-test audimetric evaluatin fr an emplyee within 30 days if requested by FM- OHS. 2.3 Supervisrs Supervisrs include individuals that versee wrk, activities, and emplyees. Specific respnsibilities f supervisrs related t the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram are t: Infrm FM-OHS if nise is a cncern in their area s it can be mnitred and prperly evaluated. Prvide HPD t emplyees wrking in envirnments where FM-OHS determines that nise expsure exceeds the actin level. Replace HPD as necessary. Require emplyees expsed t nise in excess f the actin level t wear HPD prperly and t attend annual training, audigram appintments, and any subsequent medical evaluatins. Allw time during nrmal wrking hurs fr emplyees t attend audimetric testing and Hearing Cnservatin training. Hearing Cnservatin Prgram 7

8 Frward emplyee cncerns regarding the use f HPD t FM-OHS. Ntify FM-OHS if an emplyee enrlled in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram transfers t a new psitin r terminates emplyment. Prvide feedback fr prgram evaluatin. 2.4 Emplyees Emplyees include all University f Virginia emplyees. respnsibilities f emplyees related t the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram are t: Specific Review the written prgram. Use required HPD accrding t training and prduct instructins when wrking in areas where expsure t nise in excess f the OSHA PEL is suspected r determined r if emplyee has experienced a STS. Attend initial audigram within 6 mnths f enrllment in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. Attend annual, repeat, and exit audigram appintments and any subsequent medical evaluatins within tw weeks f receiving ntificatin frm FM-OHS. Register fr and attend initial training and annually thereafter. Avid high levels f ccupatinal r nn-ccupatinal nise 14 hurs prir t audimetric testing. Ntify the supervisr r FM-OHS f any cncerns related t the use f HPD. 3.0 EXPOSURE MONITORING FM-OHS will cnduct representative nise expsure mnitring when necessary t identify emplyees in similar expsure grups fr inclusin in this Hearing Cnservatin Prgram and t enable prper selectin f HPD when: Supervisrs infrm FM-OHS that nise is a cncern in the wrk area. Inspectin f wrk area by FM-OHS reveals that nise expsure may exceed the actin level. It is determined that the current HPD are n lnger adequate due t a change in prductin, prcess, r equipment. An emplyee has experienced an STS. FM-OHS will ntify affected emplyees f expsure mnitring results and an explanatin f what thse results mean. 3.1 Expsure Limits The OSHA PEL fr nise is based n an eight-hur TWA f 90 dba. The OSHA actin level is 85 dba with a dubling rate f 5 dba. Expsure t impulse r impact nise shuld nt exceed 140 decibels (db) withut prper hearing prtectin. Hearing Cnservatin Prgram 8

9 4.0 HEARING CONSERVATION PROGRAM ENROLLMENT Emplyees must be enrlled in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram if they are assigned t a wrk area (r wrk in a similar expsure grup) where ccupatinal expsure t nise exceeds the actin level f 85 dba. 4.1 Enrlling Emplyees in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram Upn receipt f written results that an emplyee r a grup f emplyees wh are expsed t ccupatinal nise abve the actin level, FM-OHS will enrll the emplyee r grup f emplyees in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. 4.2 Remving Emplyees frm the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram FM-OHS will remve emplyees frm the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram if any f the fllwing criteria are met: Expsure mnitring results indicate that an emplyee r a grup f emplyees wh wrk in a similar expsure grup are n lnger expsed t ccupatinal nise abve the actin level after implementing engineering r administrative cntrls. Ntificatin frm the emplyee s supervisr that an emplyee s jb respnsibilities have changed and the emplyee is n lnger a member f a similar expsure grup included in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. Ntificatin that the emplyee has terminated emplyment. FM-OHS will send a letter t the emplyee and the supervisr, prir t remving the emplyee frm the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. The letter will cntain the fllwing infrmatin: Explanatin f why the emplyee is being remved frm the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram, including the fllwing, if applicable: Descriptin f the engineering r administrative cntrls implemented; and Summary f expsure mnitring results. 5.0 AUDIOMETRIC TESTING FM-OHS crdinates all audimetric testing fr emplyees enrlled in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram, including initial, annual, repeat, and exit audimetric evaluatins. Fr new enrllees in the prgram, emplyees are required t attend audimetric testing within six mnths f being enrlled in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram and annually thereafter. The emplyee is instructed in training t avid expsure t ccupatinal and nn-ccupatinal nise fr at least 14 hurs prir t testing. Befre testing, the healthcare prvider must verify that the emplyee has avided expsure t ccupatinal and nn-ccupatinal nise fr at least 14 hurs prir t testing and reschedule if this has nt ccurred. The healthcare prvider must cnduct audimetric testing with an audimeter (including micrprcessr audimeters) that has been calibrated prir t use and meets American Natinal Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard S , American Natinal Standard Specificatins fr Audimeters. If a pulsed tne r self-recrded audimeter is used, it must meet the requirements utlined in 29 CFR Appendix C, Audimetric Measuring Instruments. Audimetric testing must be Hearing Cnservatin Prgram 9

10 administered in a rm meeting the requirements utlined in 29 CFR Appendix D, Audimetric Test Rms. The audimeter must be checked at least annually, in accrdance with 29 CFR Appendix E, Acustic Calibratin f Audimeters. FM-OHS must btain a written pinin frm the healthcare prvider, including a cpy f the audigram, fllwing each audimetric evaluatin. 5.1 Infrmatin Prvided t Healthcare Prviders FM-OHS will prvide the examining healthcare prvider with cpies f the fllwing if the healthcare prvider des nt already have it n file: 29 CFR The baseline and mst recent audigrams FM-OHS have n file fr the emplyee, including measured backgrund sund pressure levels and recrds f audimeter calibratins (This infrmatin is prvided by cntractr ding audimetric testing). The Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. 5.2 Review f Audigram Results The healthcare prvider will cmpare the annual audigram t the baseline t determine whether the emplyee has experienced an STS as a result f expsure t ccupatinal nise. An STS is defined as a lss f 10dB r mre averaged ver the 2000, 3000 and 4000 Hz ctave bands. The healthcare prvider will review the audigrams and determine whether there is a need fr further evaluatin. If the healthcare prvider determines that an STS has ccurred as a result f ccupatinal nise expsure r aggravated by ccupatinal nise expsure, FM-OHS must request a re-test within 30 days f the initial test. If the results still indicate that an STS has ccurred as a result f ccupatinal nise expsure, the fllwing actins will be taken: FM-OHS will ntify the emplyee in writing that an STS has ccurred as a result f ccupatinal nise expsure (r aggravated by ccupatinal nise expsure) within 21 days f being ntified by the healthcare prvider. The supervisr must btain HPD fr the emplyee. FM-OHS will fit the emplyee with HPD and prvide training in the care, use, and limitatins f HPD. If the emplyee already uses HPD, FM-OHS will evaluate the fit f HPD the emplyee is using and make recmmendatins fr any changes t the HPD, such as fr thse with greater nise attenuatin capabilities. The supervisr will btain the recmmended HPD. FM-OHS will then fit and prvide training in the care, use, and limitatins f HPD. If additinal testing r medical evaluatins are needed r the emplyee exhibits a medical cnditin that may be caused r aggravated by wearing HPD, the healthcare prvider will recmmend the apprpriate level f care fr the emplyee, such as a clinical audilgical r tlgical evaluatin. FM-OHS will crdinate fllw-up medical evaluatins per the healthcare prvider s recmmendatins. Hearing Cnservatin Prgram 10

11 The healthcare prvider will infrm the emplyee f the need fr a medical examinatin if a medical cnditin f the ear unrelated t the use f HPD is suspected. FM-OHS must recrd any STS f 10 db r mre (as an average within the 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz range) n the OSHA 300 lg, per 29 CFR , Recrding Criteria fr Cases Invlving Occupatinal Hearing Lss. 5.3 Revised Baseline FM-OHS will designate the annual audigram as the new baseline audigram if ne f the fllwing ccurs: A persistent STS is cnfirmed. The hearing threshld in the annual audigram indicates significant imprvement ver the baseline. 6.0 CONTROLS After enrlling an emplyee r a grup f emplyees in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram, FM- OHS must evaluate the nise surces and cnsider feasible administrative r engineering cntrls t reduce ccupatinal expsure t nise. FM-OHS will cnduct additinal expsure mnitring t determine the effectiveness f these cntrls. If data demnstrates that the emplyee expsure t ccupatinal nise has been reduced belw the actin level, FM-OHS will remve the affected individuals frm the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram. 6.1 Administrative Cntrls Administrative cntrls that may be used t reduce emplyee expsure t hazardus nise include implementing wrk/rest cycles and increasing the distance between the emplyee and the nise surce. FM-OHS will evaluate the area and make apprpriate administrative cntrl recmmendatins r requirements. This will be dne with the help f the emplyee as well as the supervisr. 6.2 Engineering Cntrls Examples f engineering cntrls designed t reduce emplyee nise expsure include replacing the nise surce with a quieter machine r enclsing the machine. FM-OHS will evaluate the wrk area t determine what engineering cntrls may be feasible. 6.3 Evaluating Nise Surces Befre implementing engineering and administrative cntrls t reduce emplyee expsure t ccupatinal nise, FM-OHS must evaluate the nise levels and frequencies by cnducting nise surveys with an ctave band analyzer. Nise surveys t evaluate the effectiveness f administrative and engineering cntrls shuld als be cnducted after implementatin f cntrls. 7.0 HEARING PROTECTION DEVICES FM-OHS will recmmend a selectin f HPD when it is nt feasible t reduce emplyee nise expsure belw the actin level with engineering r administrative cntrls and while thse cntrls are being implemented. Supervisrs must prvide HPD t emplyees wrking in envirnments where nise expsure is believed t exceed the actin level; HPD must be replaced as necessary. Hearing Cnservatin Prgram 11

12 Emplyees are required t use HPD accrding t training and prduct instructins when wrking in envirnments where expsure t nise is believed t exceed the actin level. 7.1 Types f Hearing Prtectin Devices HPD, a type f persnal prtective equipment designed t reduce nise expsure, include frmable and pre-mlded earplugs and ear muffs. Ear plugs are wrn inside the ear and seal against the ear canal walls. Ear muffs seal against the side f the head, utside the ear and are typically munted n a headband Frmable Ear Plugs Frmable earplugs are made f a flexible material designed t expand and cnfrm t the user s ear canal and are available in a variety f shapes and sizes. Frmable ear plugs are preferred ver premlded ear plugs because they may be adapted t the user and btain a better fit. Frmable ear plugs are recmmended fr lw frequency nise surces up t 1000 Hz. The fllwing prcedures shuld be fllwed in rder t btain a prper fit: Rll the frmable ear plug int a crease-free cylinder thin enugh fr half the length f the plug t easily fit int the ear canal. Reach ver the head and pen the ear canal by pulling the ear upwards using the ppsite hand. Use the ther hand t insert the ear plug int the ear canal and allw the ear plug t expand inside the ear. Frmable ear plugs may be washed and re-used up t five times Pre-mlded Ear Plugs Pre-mlded ear plugs are made frm silicne, plastic r rubber and are manufactured as either nesize-fits-mst r are available fr small, medium r large ear canals. Smetimes users need a different size plug fr each ear. Pre-mlded ear plugs are als recmmended fr lw frequency nise surces. The fllwing prcedures shuld be fllwed in rder t btain a prper fit: Reach ver the head and pen the ear canal by pulling the ear upwards using the ppsite hand. Use the ther hand t insert the ear plug int the ear canal by gently rcking the plug until it seals the ear canal. Pre-mlded ear plugs may be washed and re-used up t five times Ear Muffs Ear muffs frm a seal cvering the entire ear held in place with an adjustable headband. As a result, users with facial hair and wh wear glasses are the mst likely t have difficulty btaining a prper fit. Ear muffs are recmmended fr high frequency nise surces. T btain a prper fit, the headband shuld be adjusted s that the tensin allws the cushin t frm a seal against the head withut resting n the uter ear. Hearing Cnservatin Prgram 12

13 Ear muffs may be shared amng multiple users. After use, users shuld clean the ear muffs by wiping them with sap and water. 7.2 Nise Reductin Rating (NRR) The Nise Reductin Rating (NRR) is the minimum prtectin mst users can btain when HPD is wrn. Scientific research shws that HPD used in the field prvides less than half the attenuatin btained by manufacturers in the labratry setting. Frmula t use when evaluating effectiveness f HPDs Expsure level with plugs = Measured nise level ((NRR n package 7 dba) * 0.5) When nise expsure exceeds 105 dba, emplyees must use bth ear plugs and muffs. The cmbined use typically adds mre prtectin than either used alne, hwever the nise reductin is much less than the NRR added tgether. In these situatins FM-OHS sure evaluate nise levels and prvide HPD recmmendatins. 8.0 TRAINING Hearing Cnservatin Training is prvided by FM-OHS. All emplyees enrlled in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram must register fr and attend Hearing Cnservatin Training after initial enrllment and annually thereafter. The training must include: Hazards assciated with excess nise; Explanatin f regulatins utlined in 29 CFR ; Descriptin f engineering cntrls designed t reduce emplyee expsure t hazardus nise; Instructins in the fit, care, use, and limitatins f HPD; and Descriptin f the purpse and prcedures f audimetric testing. 9.0 RECORDKEEPING Audimetric test recrds must be maintained by FM-OHS thrughut the duratin f an individual s emplyment. Audimetric test recrds shuld include: Emplyee name; Date f audigram; Healthcare prvider s name; Baseline audimetric results; Annual audimetric results; Date f last acustic r exhaustive calibratin f the audimeter; and Measurements f backgrund sund pressure levels in audimetric test rm. Hearing Cnservatin Prgram 13

14 Cpies f nise expsure mnitring recrds, including area and persnal sampling results, must be maintained by FM-OHS fr at least tw years fllwing sampling. Nise expsure mnitring recrds will include: Emplyee name; Name f supervisr; Lcatin f wrk area; Date f sampling; Sampling start and stp times Name f individual cnducting sampling; Make, mdel, and serial number f device used; Equipment calibratin date; and Sampling results (i.e., L-average, dse, TWA, peak). FM-OHS will maintain cpies f current training materials and training recrds fr emplyees in the Hearing Cnservatin Prgram PROGRAM EVALUATION All elements f the Hearing Cnservatin t include this Prgram will be reviewed by FM-OHS, incrprating feedback frm the supervisrs and emplyees enrlled in the prgram. Revisins will be made as necessary t reflect changes in University f Virginia plicies, industry standards, and gvernment regulatins. Hearing Cnservatin Prgram 14

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