NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2002-0222-2879, Marion County Board of Education, Fairmont, West Virginia.

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 2002-0222-2879, 2002 Jul; :1-11
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) was requested to evaluate noise levels in the interior of school buses operated by the Marion County Board of Education in West Virginia. Drivers were particularly concerned about the transit-style buses that have a flat front where the diesel engine is behind the windshield next to the driver's seat, covered by a cowling. A NIOSH investigator performed a one-day survey of the noise levels in six buses with the transit-style configuration as well as two conventional-style buses with the diesel engine in front of the windshield, under a hood. The NIOSH investigator rode one of the buses for the entire day as the driver picked up and dropped off students at school and home making a log of activities to match with the noise data for that bus. The noise levels were measured with noise dosimeters placed in the bus with the microphone taped to the right side of the driver's seat at approximately the level of the driver's ear. The overall daily average noise was compared to three different evaluation criteria for increased risk of occupational hearing loss from workplace noise exposures. The measured noise levels for all eight buses were less than the limits set forth in the criteria, with none of the levels greater than 82 decibels on an A-weighted scale expressed as a time-weighted average. The conventional-style buses were generally found to be quieter than the transit-style buses. The time-weighted average noise levels measured in this evaluation were less than all the of the evaluation criteria referenced in this report. The school bus operators are not at increased risk for occupational noise-induced hearing loss from exposure to bus engine noise. Some general recommendations to maintain low noise levels in the buses and to possibly lead to additional noise reductions are offered at the end of the report.
Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Noise-control; Noise-levels; Hearing-disorders; Bus-drivers; Drivers; Author Keywords: School Buses; noise; school bus driver; diesel engine; dosimetry
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
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