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Fig. 4. The figure, drawn from www.safe-at-work.com provides an overall perspective of the actual sound attenuation value of various ear plug types compared to laboratory use of the same devices.


not be limited to injury prevention by examining guarding, e-stop locations and light curtain placement but also include the operating noise level and its contribution to the environmental


sound level. Talking to suppliers about this issue during design and develop- ment is an appropriate step to protect the hearing of your workers. Te third most effective step to


address hearing hazards is to con- trol the noise at the source through maintenance practices, vibration padding, proper lubrication, adjust- ing air pressure, installing covers with sound insulating barriers and similar strategies to reduce the noise. Some- times simply relocating equipment farther away from a wall reduces the reflection of sound waves into the workspace. Improperly maintained chains, gears and pulleys can be very noisy. Establishing an appropriate frequency of maintenance activi- ties that keeps equipment running efficiently and more quietly would help reduce ambient noise levels. Tis kind of preventive action should be taken systematically and be peri- odically re-evaluated. When was the last time your job environment was surveyed for noise? Has equipment been added, replaced or moved since then? Many factors can change the area profile of sound intensity and vibration. OSHA requires a new


22 | MODERN CASTING August 2017


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