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.
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:
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: