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Industrial hygiene report for noise exposure monitoring surveys conducted at three manufacturing plants in Quebec, Canada (June 2003 - January 2004).

Brueck-SE; Stancescu-D; Waters-M
NIOSH 2006 Jul; :1-328
From June 2003 to January 2004 noise researchers from the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted full shift time-weighted average (TW A) noise exposure monitoring at three different manufacturing facilities in Quebec, Canada. The noise measurement surveys were conducted as part of a research project to compare task-based methods of measuring full shift noise exposures to the traditional noise dosimetry method; and to evaluate the risk of hearing loss for workers exposed to both continuous noise and impact noise. Personal dosimetry monitoring of workers was conducted three separate times for the workers participating in the study. During noise surveys, noise researchers also measured the noise levels of work tasks, noted time at task, and observed hearing protector usage. Based on the noise exposure monitoring results, NIOSH made the following recommendations to reduce the risk of hearing loss: 1. These companies must continue to include employees in job titles with the potential for TWA noise exposures to exceed Quebec noise exposure limit in a hearing loss prevention program, based on Quebec noise regulations. Some employees, who were not overexposed to noise during the surveys, could be overexposed sometimes based on the amount of time spent in high noise tasks. 2. Although the NIOSH REL of 85 dBA is not a regulatory noise exposure limit, it is considered more protective in the prevention of hearing loss. Therefore, all employees in jobs which have the potential for TWA noise exposures to exceed the NIOSH REL should be included in a hearing loss prevention program. 3. Continue to require the use of hearing protection. Quebec regulations require employees to wear hearing protection when noise levels are 90 dBA or greater. NIOSH recommends the mandatory use of hearing protection when noise levels are greater than 85 dBA. 4. Although proper and consistent use of hearing protection can help reduce noise exposure risk, as a long term hearing loss prevention strategy, these companies should implement noise reduction controls at equipment or in work areas where noise levels exceed 90 dBA. Knowledgeable noise control engineers should be consulted about possible noise reduction options.
Noise-control; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-levels; Noise; Hearing-conservation; Hearing-loss
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Hearing Loss
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health