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Occupational Noise and Hearing Conservation Program

Purposes

  • To identify and measure the noise produced by fixed equipment and tools used by Rutgers University staff
  • To evaluate and assess noise exposures to employees in order to determine whether or not they must participate in the Hearing Conservation Program
  • To ensure employees participating in the Hearing Conservation Program wear hearing protection, attend annual training, and receive audiometric testing to protect their hearing
  • To assess ambient noise levels produced by ventilation systems and other equipment that are not injurious to hearing but rather are a nuisance or interfere with communication

General Information
REHS identifies noise sources and evaluates employee exposure through area noise surveys and personal dosimetry. Employees exposed to noise levels greater than 85 decibels on the A weighted scale (> 85 dBA), averaged over an 8 hour work shift, are required to participate in a Hearing Conservation Program. The Hearing Conservation Program requires these employees to wear hearing protection while performing their job duties, to attend annual training, and to receive annual hearing tests.

There are other noise sources that are not harmful to employee hearing but may be annoying or interfere with communication (telephone conversations). REHS can measure the intensity and characterize these noise sources to assist employees in these instances.


Facilities and Business Services Employees and Supervisors
REHS staff measures the noise produced by equipment and evaluates employee exposure based upon their work activity; these measurements and evaluations are conducted at the request of supervisors and staff. REHS has notified directors and supervisors of noise surveys and assessment results for their staff; employees should check with their supervisor first, and then contact REHS to obtain the results of these surveys and assessment.

Staff employees are notified of this program during annual safety awareness training, and by signs posted on mechanical room doors if the noise level measured exceed 85 dBA.

Responsibilities for these employees are as follows:

Supervisors of Employees in the Hearing Conservation Program

  • Ensures their employees comply with all requirements of the Rutgers University Occupational Noise and Hearing Conservation Program.
  • Identifies work areas, work activities, and employees to REHS for appropriate noise surveys and exposure assessments to determine if employees are exposed to occupational noise above the action level.
  • Provides appropriate hearing protection to their employees in the Hearing
    Conservation Program and ensures the assigned hearing protection are worn.
  • Schedules and ensures their employees in the Hearing Conservation Program receive required medical monitoring and surveillance by the Occupational Health department.
  • Identifies and implements control measures that minimizes and reduces employee exposure to harmful occupational noise.

Employees in the Hearing Conservation Program

  • Wear appropriate hearing protection, as instructed, during work activities identified by your supervisor and REHS.Clean, store, and maintain (as appropriate) all hearing protection provided to you by your supervisor.
  • Attend training required by this program and incorporate elements of this training into their work activities to reduce occupational noise exposures.
  • Immediately report any problems with your hearing protection to your supervisor.
  • Immediately report any noise-related medical symptoms to your supervisor and seeks an evaluation from Occupational Health.

 

References

OSHA Noise Standard (29 CFR 1910.95)
Rutgers Occupational Noise and Hearing Conservation Program [pdf]

 

Contacts

Overall Program Management - Tom Block, or call 848-445-2550
Occupational Health - Hearing Conservation Plan - Karen Vargas, R.N. at (732-932-8254, extension 221)
Campus Health Safety Specialists, or call (732) 445 - 2550
 

For more information, contact webmaster Last Updated: 11/18/03
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