G2 Provides Noise Dosimetry Services for Portland, OR, Food Manufacturing Facility
In an effort to ensure employees’ hearing wasn’t being adversely affected at work, the Portland facility of a national custom flour blend producer reached out to G2 Consultants for noise dosimetry readings and recommendations.
G2 TO THE RESCUE: NOISE DOSIMETRY ASSESSMENT
Food manufacturing is often a noisy business, but whether that noise level is harmful or not is the question. With their employee’s health and safety in mind, our client contacted G2 for industrial hygiene testing services and recommendations. Specifically, the flour blend facility asked us to provide noise dosimetry testing for a variety of positions to determine the risk of production on employees’ hearing.
IMPORTANCE OF NOISE DOSIMETRY ON WORKPLACE SAFETY
Hearing loss affects quality of life, and is often irreversible. G2 Consultants helps our customers keep their employees safe and comply with OSHA and other regulatory standards—navigating requirements and improving workplace health and safety, all at once. We provide testing services and recommendations if standards are not met. Consistent noise dosimetry assessments help keep employees safe, reduce or eliminate fines, and lower other expenses like workers’ compensation.
NOISE DOSIMETRY ASSESSMENT & RECOMMENDATIONS
Once the flour blend facility contracted G2 Consultants, we sent in one of our expert industrial hygiene technicians to perform noise dosimetry assessments over the course of an eight-hour period. These personal noise assessments were conducted on seven employees, including two from production, two from the warehouse, one in sanitation, one mixer, and one QA technician.
OR-OSHA Action Level of 85dBA
Four of the seven employees—both production workers, the mixer, and the employee in sanitation—recorded noise exposure in excess of the OR-OSHA Action Level (AL) 85dBA. The QA technician’s exposure was within two dBA of this level.
While employees typically work eight-hour shifts, they are sometimes required to work 10 hours. When extrapolated out to a 10-hour shift, the QA technician’s levels would exceed the AL.
Both employees in the warehousing department had exposure levels well under the AL.
OR-OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit of 90dBA
When measured over eight hours, none of the employees’ exposure levels reached 90dBA or above. However, when extrapolated out to a possible 10-hour shift, one employee—the mixer— could have a potential exposure over the permissible exposure limit (PEL).
Ambient Sound Level Readings
Nine of 18 ambient noise readings showed levels above the PEL of 90dBA, including two air compressors, two Silo 1 locations, the flour sifter, the forklift horn, Line 1, Line 3, and the Sprout-Waldron Pump. The highest sustained noise readings occurred at Lines 1 and 3 and the flour sifter, correlating with the production workers’ high readings.
G2 Consultants, therefore, made several recommendations:
- All employees that work primarily in the production area should be included in the company’s Hearing Conservation Program
- This program includes making hearing protection available to employees, annual employee training on the effects of noise and the purpose of hearing protection, exposure monitoring, annual audiometric testing, and record-keeping of all assessments
- Share the results of this assessment with the employees included in the monitoring
- Conduct additional noise exposure assessments whenever changes in production, processes, equipment, or work practices are made that may increase exposure to noise
G2 CONSULTANTS: NOISE DOSIMETRY SERVICES
Our client thanked G2 for our timely response and thorough noise dosimetry assessment. By following our recommendations, the flour blend producer had all the necessary data to make applicable changes as they work to keep their employees safe and maintain regulatory compliance.
G2 Consultants’ industrial hygienists are professionally trained and experienced in anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, and developing controls for noise hazards. We have a nationwide reputation for creating customized approaches to protect workplace safety and compliance through this exact approach.
Contact us today for your industrial hygiene service needs. Our team of credentialed professionals can provide the tools, assessment services, and expertise you need to keep your employees, customers, and workplaces safe.