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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2000-0408-2825, Federal Aviation Administration, Burlington Massachusetts.

Tubbs RL
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 2000-0408-2825, 2001 Feb; :1-9
The Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch (HETAB) of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request for assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) New England Regional Occupational Health and Safety Office in August 2000, to evaluate noise exposures that aviation safety inspectors encounter during their employment. A previous investigation at Boston's Logan International Airport recommended that the inspectors be included in the agency's hearing conservation program. The FAA wanted to determine if other inspectors within the region should also be included in some level of a hearing conservation program. In the week of October 23-27, 2000, a NIOSH investigator and the FAA's Occupational Health and Safety Manager visited three airports, two repair facilities at manufacturing plants, and one aviation maintenance and repair hanger to measure the aviation safety inspectors' daily noise exposures while they conducted their work activities. The survey results showed that the inspectors generally did not exceed the daily allowable noise limits specified in the evaluation criteria of this report. There was one instance where the 8-hour average noise level did exceed the NIOSH recommended limit for an inspector working on the ramp of an airport. Also, the average noise levels were sufficiently high to warrant the use of hearing protection devices, particularly while on the airport ramps. It was noted that the practice of wearing the devices was adhered to by all of the aviation safety inspectors observed in this evaluation. The results of the noise evaluation of the FAA's aviation safety inspectors showed that the current practice of wearing hearing protection devices on the airport ramps and in posted areas of the repair facilities should be continued. Because the use of these devices is required by the agency, it is recommended that the inspectors be included in a medical surveillance program of audiometric testing to determine if the hearing protection devices are being worn properly. Recommendations are also offered to the agency on further noise surveys and on different hearing protection devices that may be better suited to their job requirements.
Noise; Hearing-protection; Hearing-threshold; Hearing-tests; Hearing; Noise-protection; Noise-measurement; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-levels; Noise-exposure; Airports; Region-1; Author Keywords: Regulation and Administration of Transportation Programs; noise; aviation safety inspectors; ramp operations; hearing protection devices
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division