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Implemention of an effective low cost engineering control for an HVAC related noise problem at a pediatric hospital.

Stephenson-R; Weinstein-B; Nenadic-C; Tubbs-R
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2001 Jun; :60
In follow-up to a request from hospital administration, evaluation of the noise being produced by the HVAC system which serves several executive offices located on the 5th floor of the Outpatient Services Building (OSB) was initiated in October 1999. Octave band and A- and C-weighted sound pressure level measurements were made at various locations in the fifth floor executive suite. The primary source of the noise in the executive suite is the HVAC unit which is located on the fifth floor in a mechanical room adjacent to the executive suite. The noise energy is produced by two different sources: the fan in the HVAC system, and the vibration of the supply duct(s) which transport air from the HVAC unit to the executive suite. The A-weighted (dBA) sound pressure level (SPL) readings collected throughout the entire office suite averaged 59.5 dB(A). While not considered to be hazardous under provisions of the OSHA standard, readings of this magnitude may constitute an annoyance in office environments because of the reduced ability to communicate effectively. ANSI addresses these concerns in a standard intended for evaluating room noise. Recommended sound pressure levels in executive office space are not to exceed 38 dB(A). Minor modifications in the fan operating parameters resulted in a significant noise reduction of 17 dBA (from 59.5 to 42.5 dBA). As a result, the work environment has improved, and the noise-related complaints from the office staff have ceased.
Ventilation-systems; Ventilation-equipment; Noise; Noise-levels; Sound; Vibration; Vibration-effects
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division