3.20.9 Noise and Hearing Conservation Policy

Policy

These procedures apply to all employees whenever noise exposure equals or exceeds an 8-hour time-weighted average sound level (TWA) of 85 decibels measured on the A scale of a standard sound level meter (slow response), or, equivalently, a dose of fifty percent.

Purpose

The purpose of these safety procedures is to prevent hearing loss in employees of Alexandria Technical and Community College (ATCC) who may be exposed to high levels of noise during their time at the college, and to effectively comply with all Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard 29 CFR 1910.95, "Occupational Noise Exposure."

ATCC is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for its faculty, staff and students. ATCC further requires its faculty, staff and students to conduct their work and activities in a safe manner that will comply with all internal and external safety and health standards.

Engineering Controls

Engineering controls such as mufflers or sound deadening devices shall be installed whenever possible to reduce noise levels.

Hearing Protection Devices

If engineering solutions cannot reduce the noise level, employees will be given the opportunity to select hearing protective devices from a variety of suitable samples arranged for by the Director of Safety and Security. In all cases, the sample hearing protectors shall have a Noise Reduction Ration (NRR) high enough to reduce the noise at the ear drum to lower than 85 dB.

Training

A training program will be repeated annually for each employee or employee group included in the hearing conservation program. The training shall include:

  • the effects of noise on hearing, the purpose of hearing protectors;
  • the advantages, disadvantages and the attenuation of various types of hearing protectors;
  • instructions on selection, fitting, use, and care of hearing protectors; and
  • the purpose of audiometric testing and an explanation of the test procedures.

The Director of Safety and Health will provide, upon request, copies of the hearing conservation program, training materials and records.

Job Responsibilities

At Alexandria Technical and Community College, the Director of Safety and Security, supervisors, deans and employees all share the responsibility for complying with the OSHA Hearing Conservation regulation. The following three groups must meet their obligations to effectively reduce occupational noise exposures and to prevent noise-induced permanent hearing loss.

  • Director of Safety and Security
    • Coordinate and/or perform noise measurements;
    • Educate supervisors and employees about the effects of noise;
    • Consult and advise on engineering and administrative controls to reduce noise exposure;
    • Recommend proper hearing protection devices;
    • Provide annual hearing test services; and
    • Train employees and supervisors in the need for, and proper use and care of hearing protection devices.
  • Supervisor/Dean
    • Implement engineering and/or administrative controls to reduce noise exposure;
    • Inform Director of Safety and Security of employee concerns with hearing or noise levels;
    • Notify the Director of Safety and Security of changes in workplace processes or equipment which affect noise levels;
    • Notify the Director of Safety and Security of employee new hires, rehires, transfers, or terminations;
    • Ensure that proper hearing protectors are provided through the department, program or discipline;
    • Enforce the use of required hearing protectors; and
    • Assure employees complete required Hearing Conservation Program training.
  • Employees
    • Follow safe work practices that reduce or prevent occupational noise exposures;
    • Complete Hearing Conservation Program required training;
    • Participate in audiometric testing;
    • Wear properly-fitted hearing protectors when necessary; and
    • Report to supervisors any changes in processes or equipment that alter noise levels.
Approved by: ATCC Leadership Council
Effective Date: 2/07/12
Last Date Revised: 1/12/12