Workplace Noise Surveys: A Hands-On Measurement Workshop

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1 Workplace Noise Surveys: A Hands-On Measurement Workshop Presented by: Kevin Schouppe, B.Sc. (Kin.) Principal/Ergonomics Consultant OSHTECH Ergonomics Group Inc. Associate Faculty Member, Conestoga College

2 Workplace Noise Surveys: Hands-On Workshop Introduction & Session Description: This hands-on workshop will be of particular interest to anyone considering conducting their own workplace noise surveys, or, simply looking to gain a better understanding of the instruments and types of measures. Participants will be introduced to the basic operating procedures of common instruments and get an opportunity to use the meters to acquire spot-check and/or short-term dosimetry measures on a variety of noise sources or events. The results will be generally discussed in the context of compliance requirements, including evaluation and selection of appropriate hearing protection and common elements of a hearing conservation program. A little background information...

3 Workplace Noise Surveys: Hands-On Workshop Training Topics & Objectives: Brief Introduction 1. Introduction to workplace noise. 2. Ensure awareness of the compliance requirements. Noise Survey Workshop 3. Identify & explain basic terms used in workplace noise surveys. 4. Identify & describe noise measurement instruments. 5. Hands-on. Practical noise measurement workshop. Hearing Conservation Programs (HCP) 6. Common elements of a hearing conservation program. Question or technical term e.g. sound pressure level (SPL) or noise level? An answer, explanation or practical tip e.g. understand the compliance requirements

4 Introduction: Sound Pressure or Noise Level Unbearable Single exposure may cause deafness Deafening Extreme discomfort Painful Pain threshold for most people Very high Prolonged exposure may damage hearing Moderate e.g. quiet office db Very low scarcely audible

5 Introduction: Health & Safety Effects of Noise Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) Tinnitus

6 Compliance: OH&S Act, Regulations & WS&I Act Awareness of compliance requirements: A noise survey...is it a compliance requirement? Yes or no but support your answer.

7 H&S Law: Noise Regulations & OH&S Act Compliance requirements overview: Noise exposure limits Emphasis on engineering controls Feasibility investigation of engineering controls for noise sources >85 db(a) Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs) Warning signs Hearing Conservation Program Can you think of other possibly applicable provisions? Practical tip...know the compliance requirements. Communicate, train, enforce.

8 Compliance: Noise Regulations Noise exposure limits : (3) Every employer shall take all measures reasonably necessary in the circumstances to protect workers from exposure to hazardous sound levels. (6) Without limiting the generality of subsections (3) and (4), every employer shall ensure that no worker is exposed to a sound level greater than an equivalent sound exposure level of 85 db(a), L ex,8. "Equivalent" Noise Time (decibels) (hours) L ex,8 equivalent of an 8-hour TWA noise exposure no > 85 decibels.

9 Compliance: Noise Regulations Emphasis on engineering controls : (4) The protective measures shall include the provision and use of engineering controls, work practices and, subject to subsection (7), personal protective equipment. (5) Any measurement of sound levels in the workplace that is done in order to determine what protective measures are appropriate shall be done without regard to any use of personal protective equipment. Can you distinguish between engineering controls and work practices?...

10 Compliance: Noise Regulations Feasibility of engineering controls or PPE as a last resort: (7) Except in the circumstances set out in subsections (8) and (9), the employer shall protect workers from exposure to a sound level greater than the limit described in subsection (6) without requiring them to use and wear personal protective equipment.

11 Compliance: Noise Regulations Feasibility investigation of engineering controls: (9) Subsection (8) (re PPE) applies if engineering controls are required by subsections (3) and (4) and, (a) (b) (c) (d) are not in existence or are not obtainable; are not reasonable or not practical to adopt, install or provide because of the duration or frequency of the exposures or because of the nature of the process, operation or work; are rendered ineffective because of a temporary breakdown of such controls; or are ineffective to prevent, control or limit exposure because of an emergency. Feasible??? Based on effectiveness, cost, technical feasibility or implications for equipment use, service & maintenance. To be able to demonstrate compliance... document feasibility investigation outcomes.

12 Compliance: Noise Regulations PPE: Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs) when: (8) If this subsection applies, workers shall wear and use personal protective equipment appropriate in the circumstances to protect them from exposure to a sound level greater than the limit described in subsection (6). i.e. 85 db(a), L ex,8 Identiifcation &/or Description of Workplace Job/Task/Equipment-Specific Noise Entry Noise Source Level 7 # db(a) Assembly Operator L ex, Machine Shop Operator Lex, Welding Operator Lex, Test Operator Lex, Receiving Operator Lex, Cut-off Saw Operator Lex, Paint Operator Lex, Shipping Operator Lex, Assembly Operator Lex, Machine Shop Operator Lex,8 80.7

13 Compliance: Noise Regulations Warning Signs: (10) A clearly visible warning sign shall be posted at every approach to an area in the workplace where the sound level, measured as described in subsection (5), regularly exceeds 85 db(a).

14 WS&I Act: NIHL Claims & Audiograms

15 Workplace Noise Survey: Measurement Basics Types of Workplace Surveys: Screening Survey Compliance Survey Engineering Survey Types of Common Instruments: Sound Level Meter (SLM) Noise Dosimeter Octave Band Analyzer Refer to workshop materials...

16 Workplace Noise Survey: Point-in-Time Results Table 1. Point-in-Time Noise Measurement Results Entry # Measurement Description db(a) 1.0 Receiving, area near shipping crates, employee at nearby work bench Receiving, operator zone while using hoist to unpack crates Near in-plant office mid-way along north wall, area measurement Paint booth area measurement with exhaust fan on, no employee activity Shipping, operator zone near saw, saw "on" but idle Shipping, operator zone near saw, saw "on" cutting 2"x 4" Shipping, operator zone while demsonstrating use of air nailer Assembly, cenntral area measurement, background level while generally quiet Assembly, nearby workbench where air release occurring Assembly, operator zone while using pneumatic pencil grinder Test, operator zone while using pneumatic impact wrench Assembly, vacant workbench in central area, generally quiet Assembly, operator zone while using pneumatic impact wrench Cutoff saw, operator zone while belt sander "on" but idling Cutoff saw, operator zone while belt sander "on" and sanding steel bar Machine shop, operator zone while radial drill working Machine shop, operator zone during set-up of boring mill Welding, operator zone at work table, exhaust fan "on" but no operator activity Area measure in southwest corner of plant, quiet area Area measure in mid plant near cabinets along lunch room wall Machine shop, mid-plant near boring mill while operational Machine shop, operator zone while using pneumatic sander Machine shop, operator zone while using compressed air to blow off part Machine shop, operator zone while using 18V cordless drill Machine shop, near radio "on" Cut off saw, operator zone at (Empire) sand blaster while holding parts during sand blasting Paint, operator zone while compressed air paint spray wand in use Any comments about these spot-check results? Compliance conclusions? Create a plant map. A picture is worth 1,000 words!

17 Workplace Noise Survey: Summary of Dosimetry Results Noise Level (db(a)) Figure 1. Noise Dosimetry Summary Workplace Noise Levels db(a) L eq & L ex, Leq Lex,8 MoL Criterion 85 db(a) NIOSH Recommended PPE Limit 80 db(a) Dosimeter Number Any questions or comments about these dosimetry results? Review details...the time & noise level of each dosimetry record.

18 Workplace Noise Survey: Dosimetry Results Shipper Dosimeter (Dosimeter 153, Mth Day Year) L eq = db(a) L ex,8 = db(a) MOL Criteria 85 db(a) 90 Noise Level (db(a)) :54 AM 8:24 AM 8:54 AM 9:24 AM 9:54 AM 10:24 AM 10:54 AM 11:24 AM 11:54 AM 12:24 PM 12:54 PM 1:24 PM 1:54 PM NIOSH Recommended PPE Limit 80 db(a) 2:24 PM Time of Shift Any comments or observations about this job-specific dosimetry record? Identify the specific sources of noise levels greater than 85 decibels.

19 Hearing Conservation Programs Common Elements of a Workplace HCP Routine measures/surveys of employee exposures In concert with Feasibility investigations of engineering controls Hearing protection devices Noise hazard warning signs Audiometric testing Engineering & administration controls Employee communications and training Documentation & program evaluation To ensure compliance with the new H&S requirements! To reduce potential for NIHL & WSIB claims! Consult : MOL & WSIB guidelines, CSA standards, etc.

20 HCP: Engineering Controls &/or HPD s Controlling/Reducing Noise Exposure: At source Acoustic-engineering Encapsulation Hearing protector Collective protection Personal protection Aim to control noise at source e.g. buy quiet programs

21 HCP: Feasibility Investigation of Engineering Controls Feasibility Investigation: An example Wet Polishers and Grinders A number of Make/Model wet polishers and Make/Model dry cut grinders are used in finishing. The most significant noise source is probably the air exhaust, which could be reduced by adding a muffler, as in Case History 46 at: This may be reasonable and practical if commercially available. Additional recommendations are as follows: 1. Noise reduction might also be achieved by substituting quieter tools, if available and affordable. 2. Set up and maintain a formal, documented preventive maintenance program for the grinders and polishers. 3. Consult equipment manufacturers and inquire about quieter tools and/or exhaust mufflers. 4. Document records of these activities, whether feasible or not. Completed at level of knowledge typically possessed by the workplace parties.

22 HCP: Hearing Protection Devices Hearing Protection Devices (HPD s) and Protection Outcome: Earplugs or earmuffs or dual protection? Advisable for exposures to sound levels above 80 decibels db(a) Only used as a last resort to control noise exposure HPD ratings: CSA class, NRR, SNR, fit testing Less protective than ratings (selection, fit, deterioration, discomfort, user motivation) HCP must include training on proper selection, use & care of HPD s Protection outcome: calculating effective noise level ENL?: CSA protection outcomes Ensure HPD ratings used properly. ENL 4 PROTECTION OUTCOME 5 : BASIC MEANING < 70 Overprotection Acceptable Optimal or ideal Acceptable > 85 Insufficient.

23 HCP: Selection & Evaluation of HPD Workplace Noise Levels Identiifcation &/or Description of Workplace Job/Task/Equipment-Specific Noise Entry Noise Source Level 7 # db(a) Assembly Operator L ex, Machine Shop Operator Lex, Welding Operator Lex, Test Operator Lex, Receiving Operator Lex, Cut-off Saw Operator Lex, Paint Operator Lex, Shipping Operator Lex, Assembly Operator Lex, Machine Shop Operator Lex, Applicable Guidelines Noise Level & Recommended CSA Class db(a) Plug Muff Dual NRR < C - - < B to A - - > A A or B Yes A A or B Yes+ - HPD Available in Workplace 3M E-Z Fit 3M E-A-Rsoft Yellow Neons CSA Type: Foam CSA Type: Foam Class: NRR SNR Class: NRR SNR A(L) 28 A(L) 33 or

24 Workplace Noise Surveys: Hands-on Workshop Introduction & Session Description: This hands-on workshop will be of particular interest to anyone considering conducting their own workplace noise surveys, or, simply looking to gain a better understanding of the instruments and types of measures. Participants will be introduced to the basic operating procedures of common instruments and get an opportunity to use the meters to acquire spot-check and/or shortterm dosimetry measures on a variety of noise sources or events. The results will be generally discussed in the context of compliance requirements, including evaluation and selection of appropriate hearing protection and common elements of a hearing conservation program. A little moving forward information... Thank you On behalf of: Q & A Kevin Schouppe, B.Sc. (Kin.) Principal/Ergonomics Consultant OSHTECH Ergonomics Group Inc. Associate Faculty Member, Conestoga College Tel: (519)

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