According to The National Institute for Safety & Health (NIOSH):
“Four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise. Ten million people in the U.S. have a noise-related hearing loss. Twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise each year.”
Research spanning the last few decades has led to an increased effort by safety and health organizations to educate and recommend methods for lessening the frequency and impact of occupationally-induced hearing loss. Programs like the NIOSH Hearing Loss Research Program Review (HLR) and more recently, the “Buy Quiet” initiative by NIOSH and its partners, strive to promote hearing loss prevention techniques and engineering controls.
For noise and hearing loss prevention, NIOSH recommends the following exposure limit:
- Exposures at and above 85 dBA (decibels) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) are considered hazardous (using a 3-decibel exchange rate).
They also recommend the 8 items listed below for implementation in hearing loss prevention programs:
1) Noise Exposure Monitoring
2) Engineering and Administrative Controls
3) Audiometric Evaluation
4) Use of Hearing Protection Devices
5) Education and Motivation
6) Record Keeping
7) Program Evaluation
8) Program Audit
The “Buy Quiet” Initiative
The “Buy Quiet” initiative, as mentioned earlier, promotes preventative hearing loss controls and specifically encourages the purchase of “quiet” machinery and tools by procurement personnel; especially by those in the construction and manufacturing industries [according to NIOSH, “occupational hearing loss is the most commonly recorded occupational illness in manufacturing.”].
Sentry Air Systems provides fume extraction and air purification equipment for a variety of industrial, pharmaceutical, laboratory, manufacturing, and construction processes, including welding and soldering processes, ambient air cleaning, chemical and solvent fume containment, laser fume control, and much more. The majority of our fume extraction products are well below the NIOSH-recommended 85 dBA exposure limit. For instance:
Model 300 Welding Fume Extractor = Approximately 61 dBA to 66 dBA (variable speed control, low to high) @ 3′.
Model 300 Wall-Mounted Welding Fume Extractor = Approximately 61 dBA to 66 dBA (variable speed control, low to high) @ 3′.
Industrial Paint Booth = Approximately 61 dBA to 66 dBA (variable speed control, low to high) @ 3′.
For more information on fume extraction products with low noise operation, please contact us at 1.800.799.4609, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out this form to receive additional information from a Sentry Air Systems Applications Specialist.
References/Helpful Information on Hearing Loss Prevention in the Workplace