Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety
IN THIS ISSUE: OSHA Updates Noise Standards
Noise is one of the most common health hazards that employees face in the workplace. If an employer suspects excessive noise exposure, then it must be determined if employees are being overexposed. This can be done with the use of sound level readings and personal noise dosimeter testing.
“In the case of overexposure, the employer must initiate a written hearing protection program,” explains Gary R. Ticker, CIH, CSP, of OccuSafe, Inc, “That program means annual hearing tests, hearing protectors, and extensive training for employees.”
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist (ACGIH) recognize that employees exposed to noise at 85 dBA can damage their hearing. If an employee exceeds the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 90 dBA, the use of hearing protectors is mandatory and the employer must change engineering and administrative controls to bring the noise level down.
“In recent years OSHA has made the standard regarding noise more stringent,” explains Ticker, “Today, if there is a change of only 10 dB in an employees hearing test, the incident must be recorded as a workplace injury.”
OccuSafe Environmental and Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.
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