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measures should be considered among a range of options that vary in overall effectiveness. Tis is usually commu- nicated via the diagram in Figure 3, drawn from the OSHA website. Te first and most effective means


Fig. 2. Data for the rate of recordable hearing loss for four industry classifications is shown. The data is collected from Table SNR08, Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov.


(and placed on your OSHA 300 log) if annual testing reveals a 10 decibel shift from the baseline hearing (averaged at 2000, 3000 and 4000 hz) in one or both ears. See 29 CFR 1904.10 for more information on recording this illness. Te contribution to illness of hear- ing loss occurrence can be observed by plotting the same years and industrial categories as Figure 1 but including only hearing loss-related illness. Tis plot is shown in Figure 2. Recordable illness data is reported using a different scale than that of injury owing because recordable illness is far less frequent. Te case rate for- mula is: , where N = number of cases and EH = employee hours worked. Tis is based on 10,000 “equivalent


workers” annual rate of illness, not the 100 equivalent workers annual rate used in injury TCIR (total case incident rate) calculations (where the multiplier is only 200,000). Te statistics on the rate of hearing


loss in foundries reveal the following: • Hearing loss is occurring at a sub- stantially higher rate (roughly three times higher) in foundries than in all private manufacturing.


• Hearing loss is by far the single greatest category of occupational illness in foundries.


• Hearing loss rate is roughly the same in all types of foundries over the last five years. In 2015, in the listing of the top


25 job classifications with the highest illness rates, the Bureau of Labor Sta- tistics identified steel foundries 18th


Fig. 3. The heirarchy of controls is shown, a standard approach to addressing identified safety hazards in the work place.


August 2017 MODERN CASTING | 21


and aluminum foundries 25th among all classifications. Industrial noise-induced hearing


loss is completely preventable. Hearing loss reduces the quality of life and leads to isolation and challenges in socialization. In industrial and busi- ness settings, it can lead to other safety risks as employees do not hear instruc- tions, assignments or warnings clearly.


Corrective Measures Te metalcasting industry can


do more to prevent hearing loss. To address any safety hazard, corrective


of protection is to eliminate the haz- ard, the source of noise and vibration. Tis may mean replacing equipment, outsourcing noisy operations or rede- signing processes or products such that the noisy operation is unnecessary. In a foundry, this could mean determining an alternate means of removing gates and risers or automating noisy opera- tions so that no worker is required to be in the area of high intensity sound. Te second most effective means of


protection is to substitute the equip- ment that produces loud sounds for equipment that is specifically designed to operate more quietly. NIOSH encourages a program they call “Buy Quiet” and initiatives under the “Quiet by Design” program to connect sup- pliers who have constructed tools and equipment that reduce noise with manufacturers seeking to reduce ambi- ent noise levels in their workplace. Te purchase of new equipment should be evaluated from many perspectives—and safety is usually an important view- point. Te safety evaluation should


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