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profile be prepared according to the following rule: “Monitoring shall be repeated whenever a change in production, process, equipment or controls increases noise exposures to the extent that: Additional employ- ees may be exposed at or above the action level; or the attenuation provided by hearing protectors being used by employees may be rendered inadequate to meet the requirements of paragraph (j) of this section” [29 CFR 1910.95(d)(3)]. It is easy to get complacent about facility changes and their impact on sound intensity. Te fourth most effective step to


address hearing hazards is to apply administrative controls such as limit- ing the time workers spend in a noisy area through duty cycling. Tis is less effective because it does nothing to address the source of the noise—it simply attempts to reduce the amount of exposure by procedural means. Tis certainly can be a part of an overall program to address hearing protection but by itself is not greatly effective because it relies on human adherence to procedures rather than getting to the cause of the problem.


PPE Least Effective Perhaps surprisingly to some, the


least effective method to achieve hearing protection is through the use of personal protective equipment. For many, hearing protection is some- thing you stick into or over your ears to keep the noise out. In manufac- turers with well planned, systematic hearing protection programs, PPE is the tool of last resort; the solution to a problem that could not be designed out or resolved in any other way. Part of the reason PPE for hearing protection is judged as the least effec- tive solution to the problem is that while most hearing protection devices will attenuate sound to a reasonable degree in the laboratory, in real life they perform less well. Figures 4 and 5 reproduce data provided by NIOSH and available at the helpful hearing conservation website www.safe-at- work.com .Tey illustrate the actual average level of attenuation achieved compared to laboratory use. Te relative ineffectiveness of


August 2017 MODERN CASTING | 23


Hearing is a precious thing and metalcasters have a stewardship responsibility to care for the health and well-being of the people entrusted to them.


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