HEARING CONSERVATION PROGRAMS
OSHA compliance sound studies
Advanced hearing protection
In 1935 the United States Congress passed the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act giving the U. S. Department of Labor the authority to regulate companies having contracts with the federal government. In 1969, the USDOL exercised this authority to promulgate noise standards, which have become known as the "Walsh Healey" noise standard. One year later, in 1970, Congress enacted the Occupational Health and Safety Act, creating the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). NIOSH does the research upon which OSHA bases its regulations and enforcement. In 1971, OSHA widened the application of the Walsh-Healey standard to the majority of U.S. companies. In 1983, OSHA promulgated the Hearing Conservation Amendment, and it is this version that is currently enforced in the U.S. workplace.
The President of The Noise Consultancy is a Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist, (Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation), and teaches the full semester course at Rutgers University, "Community and Occupational Noise" (375:336).We can insure that your workplace meets the legal requirements of the Hearing Conservation Amendment. We conduct a thorough sound mapping, determining which workers in which work areas exceed the Permissible Exposure Level. If necessary, we can monitor the exposure of individual workers, and customize the dosimetry for the specific application. The image to the left shows the custom design we developed to measure sound levels up to 170 dB, at a firearms qualifying range for the US Department of State. In industrial settings we can determine precisely which operations are responsible for the sound emissions, and will work with your staff or affiliated engineers to reduce these sound levels. If the sound levels can not be reduced below the Action Level, we will develop a comprehensive Hearing Conservation Program for your personnel, meeting all regulatory requirements for documentation.
While a workplace is only required to meet the Walsh-Healey standards, there is a growing body of evidence that these standards are not adequately protective. NIOSH has developed guidance for programs that are more protective, and it is acknowledged that OSHA has not adopted these standards due, in part, to economic considerations. The Noise Consultancy recommends that the NIOSH guidelines be employed in any workplace where the workers' interests and health are of paramount importance. We can help you deliver this level of protection for your workers. Research shows that workplaces with proper hearing conservation programs have higher levels of worker productivity and lower incidence of absenteeism.
Facilities exceeding OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limit without any Hearing Conservation Program in place face significant potential liability.
The Noise Consultancy, LLC