NOISE EXPOSURE SURVEYS 

      Occupational noise exposure surveys are the cornerstone of every hearing conservation program. Simply put, a noise survey indicates who is exposed to what type and level of noise. Armed with this information, the safety professional and employee can take the appropriate steps to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. However, just knowing the general noise level of an area is insufficient to properly protect employees from hearing loss.

      An occupational noise exposure survey allows for the following results:

 1. Identification of employees for inclusion in a hearing 
      conservation program. 
 2. Proper selection of hearing protectors. 
 3. Identification of plant areas for investigation of feasible 
     engineering and administrative controls.

      Survey Procedures

      Express Test employs a monitoring procedure which meets or exceeds the requirements outlined in ANSI Standard S12.19-1996. Standard of Measurement of Occupational Noise Exposure.

      The survey procedure incorporates representative monitoring. Representation is based upon groups of employees: 

  • Who exhibit potential to rotate or change jobs with no associated change in personnel record keeping,
  • Who are engaged in similar type of work, and
  • Whose sound exposures are expected to be similar.

      Monitoring is conducted at a minimum for operations reasonably believed to exhibit exposure potential which are representative of the group of employees engaged in those operations. The resulting time-weighted averages (TWA) are considered to reflect sound potential for the group.

      Employment information is obtained to compile a roster to form the structure of the representative monitoring. Direct observation and interviews with lead and operating personnel assisted in the identification of:

        - Primary production activities, including duration,
        - Potential employees mobility pattern, and,
        - Major sources of noise exposure.