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GUIDE

Occupational Noise Management


June 2010

2010-0019

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPPs member companies produce about 90 per cent of Canadas natural gas and crude oil. CAPP's associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP's members and associate members are an important part of a $110-billion-a-year national industry that provides essential energy products. .

Review by February 2014


Disclaimer This publication was prepared for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) by CAPPs Industrial Hygiene Committee members. While it is believed that the information contained herein is reliable under the conditions and subject to the limitations set out, CAPP does not guarantee its accuracy. The use of this report or any information contained will be at the users sole risk, regardless of any fault or negligence of CAPP.

2100, 350 7 Avenue S.W. Calgary, Alberta Canada T2P 3N9 Tel (403) 267-1100 Fax (403) 261-4622

403, 235 Water Street St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada A1C 1B6 Tel (709) 724-4200 Fax (709) 724-4225

www.capp.ca communication@capp.ca

Overview To provide a resource to assist CAPP member companies to develop their occupational noise management and hearing conservation programs. To establish minimum criteria and processes for management of occupational noise exposure.

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Contents
Overview ....................................................................................................................................i Project Scope.............................................................................................................................1 1 Program Layout............................................................................................................1 1.1 Regulatory Requirements................................................................................1 1.2 Responsibilities ............................................................................................ 1-1 2 Risk Management....................................................................................................2 2.1 Hazard Identification .......................................................................................2 2.1.1 Noise Definition ..................................................................................2 2.1.2 Noise Hazard .......................................................................................2 2.1.3 Types of Noise.....................................................................................2 2.1.4 Off-the-Job Noise Exposure...............................................................3 2.2 Risk Assessment ..............................................................................................3 2.3 Risk Control .....................................................................................................4 3 Hearing Conservation Program ...................................................................................5 3.1 3.2 Purpose .............................................................................................................5 Noise Monitoring.............................................................................................5 3.2.1 Area Noise Monitoring .......................................................................5 3.2.2 Personal Noise Exposure Monitoring ................................................5 Noise Exposure Control ..................................................................................6 Worker Education and Training .....................................................................6 3.4.1 Training Documentation .....................................................................7 Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs)........................................................... 3-3 3.5.1 Selection and Care...............................................................................7 Hearing (Audiometric) Testing.......................................................................8 3.6.1 Test Results and Employee Medical Concerns .................................9 Annual Program Review and Record Keeping..............................................9 3.7.1 Evaluations of HCP Effectiveness .....................................................9 3.7.2 Record Keeping.................................................................................10

3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7

4 A.1

Glossary ......................................................................................................................11 Jurisdictions for Noise Control................................................................................ A-i

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Project Scope This guide applies to all business activities where noise above 80 dBA (decibels, Aweighted) is present. 1 Program Layout 1.1 Regulatory Requirements

Companies should be aware of the requirements of the provincial, territorial and federal noise regulations governing their operating areas. See Appendix A for list of applicable regulations. 1.2 Responsibilities

The employer is responsible for: Developing, implementing and administration of a process for noise management, including a hearing conservation program (HCP) that meets or exceeds the applicable requirements of provincial, territorial and federal regulations, Assessment of noise levels, Implementing engineering and administrative controls to reduce employee occupational noise exposure wherever necessary and feasible, Identification of employees who are required to be included in an HCP, Informing employees of the results of area, task, and personal noise monitoring, Ensuring that Noise Exposed Workers attend both hearing conservation training and audiometric testing, Managing any changes in production, operating procedures, or equipment that could result in changes to employee noise exposure, Ensuring that approved Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs) are available to employees, and Enforcing and verifying the proper use of HPDs. The employee is responsible for: Wearing HPDs where they are required and adhering to the procedures within the HCP. Contractors are responsible for: Developing a noise management process that meets or exceeds the applicable requirements of provincial, territorial and federal regulations, and Complying with company policies and procedures for occupational noise management. Occupational Hygiene, Health and Safety Personnel or Professional Consultants Occupational Hygiene, Health and Safety Professionals shall be consulted to identify situations in which noise exposure may impact the hearing of employees. They shall advise on engineering and administrative controls and HPDs as appropriate.

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Risk Management 2.1 Hazard Identification

Identification of hazardous noise areas and tasks must be reviewed by a competent professional in the field of noise measurement. 2.1.1 Noise Definition

Noise is sound that is unwanted by the listener because it is unpleasant. The effects of noise on humans include the following: Psychological effects (noise can startle, annoy, disrupt concentration, sleep and relaxation), Interference with verbal communication and thus possible interference with job performance and safety, and/or Physiological effects (temporary and permanent noise-induced loss of hearing or aural pain when exposure is severe). Noise Hazard

2.1.2

Occupational noise is a frequently encountered on-the-job health hazard. The hazard is not always obvious at the time; However, if the ear is subjected to hazardous levels of noise for a sufficient period of time, loss of hearing may occur. 2.1.3 Types of Noise

There are three general classes into which occupational noise may be grouped: Continuous noise, Intermittent noise, and Impact-type noise. Continuous noise refers to noise of approximately constant level and spectrum. Intermittent noise refers to noise of variable level and spectrum. Impulse or impact-type noise refers to short duration of sound such as in hammer blows or explosions.

Continuous noise: Intermittent noise: Impact-type noise:

Hazardous noise is any sound that is in excess of Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) and may cause adverse health effect(s) to a worker. The OEL is based on an 8-hour exposure limit. The OEL may be adjusted upwards or downwards for different exposure times using a locally legislated exchange rate. It is recommended that an Occupational Hygienist or Health and Safety Professional assist with the data collection, interpretation and communication.

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2.1.4

Off-the-Job Noise Exposure

Noise exposure standards are set with the assumption that employees will have low noise exposure when away from work. This allows the ear to recover from any temporary noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing loss may be accelerated if high noise exposure occurs both on and off the job. There are many sources of noise exposure away from work. Typical high noise activities where HPDs should be worn include: Use of firearms Use of power tools and machinery (e.g., table saws, grinders, sanders), Pneumatic impact wrench and hammers, Lawn and garden work using power machinery, Playing musical equipment, and Recreational vehicles.

**Note some of the above activities (i.e.,using firearms) pose the risk of acoustic trauma.** 2.2 Risk Assessment

Risk assessment determines if there is a risk of worker exposure to noise in the work environment. This process identifies if a noise problem exists and how much risk noise poses to workers. Risk assessment includes a review of the facility, measurement and analysis of sound levels across the facility, and consideration of worker movements and tasks.

Sound level measurements should be performed by a person with training in this field, using: A Type 1 or 2 sound level meter, as specified by ANSI Standard S1.4.1983, Specification for Sound Level Meters, as amended from time to time, or An integrating sound level meter (Type 1) meeting the requirements as specified by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) S1.4.1983 Specification for Sound Level Meters, as amended from time to time, or International Electrotechnical Commission IEC 804; Integrating-Averaging Sound Level Meters, as amended from time to time.

The principle of risk assessment is based on evaluating the severity of occupational noise exposure against the probability of exposure.

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The severity of exposure ranges from acceptable noise levels (i.e., less than legislated limits) to noise levels that will cause immediate trauma to the ears. The probability of exposure is based on the likelihood that a worker may be in the area and exposed to those levels of noise.

All areas of the facility (inside and outside), all noise sources when they are operational, and the effectiveness of the existing engineering controls that are in place should be evaluated. Noise risk is unacceptable when workers are likely to be exposed to noise levels above the legislated limits. 2.3 Risk Control

If the noise risk assessment confirms that noise risk is unacceptable, an HCP should be developed and implemented to ensure that risk is controlled. A copy of the program description should be available for reference by workers.

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Hearing Conservation Program 3.1 Purpose

The primary purpose of an HCP is the prevention of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) for employees exposed to occupational noise. The main components of an HCP are:

Noise monitoring, Noise exposure control (engineering, administrative controls and PPE), Worker education and training, Hearing (audiometric) testing, and Annual program review and record keeping. Noise Monitoring 3.2.1 Area Noise Monitoring

3.2

All facilities should be assessed to determine area noise levels during normal operations. Noise measurements should be conducted in all high noise areas; generally characterized as areas where voices must be raised to achieve clear communication. Walkthrough surveys of the workplace are used to identify high noise areas throughout a facility, both in and out of doors. Noise measurement in high noise areas should be conducted: with a sound level meter meeting requirements listed above in Section 2.2, at approximately one metre distance from equipment or where workers would normally work, including multi-level working surfaces, and while equipment is running and generating typical noise levels. Personal Noise Exposure Monitoring

3.2.2

The noise exposure of all workers who are, or may be exposed to noise levels exceeding the OEL must be assessed for full-shift noise exposure. Personal fullshift, time-weighted average (TWA) noise exposures should be measured in accordance with Canadian Standards Association, Standard Z107.56-06 Procedures for the Measurement of Occupational Noise Exposure, as amended from time to time. These personal noise exposure measurements represent the cumulative sound energy a worker is exposed to over a typical workday, and can be compared directly with full-shift and time-averaged legislated limits. Personal exposure monitoring should be conducted by a person with training in this field with a noise dosimeter meeting the requirements for a Type 1 or 2 noise dosimeter as specified by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) S1.251991 (R1997): Specification for Personal Noise Dosimeters. The results of personal exposure monitoring must be communicated to workers. Workers exposed to noise exceeding legislated limits must be enrolled in a

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hearing (audiometric) testing program as described in Section 3.4. Jobs and tasks where noise exposures exceed legislated limits require implementation of noise or noise exposure controls (Section 3.3). Measurement of workers exposure is not always necessary. If a risk assessment concludes that workers are potentially over-exposed to noise, they can be enrolled in a hearing testing program and noise exposure controls can be implemented without exposure testing. 3.3 Noise Exposure Control If worker noise exposure exceeds the OEL or if there is the potential for acoustic trauma, engineering and/or administrative controls must be considered, developed and implemented. Where engineering or administrative controls are not feasible, a personal protective equipment (PPE) program must be implemented. Engineering Controls : Examples of engineering controls include installation of enclosures, barriers, insulation and dampening materials. When considering engineering controls, priority should be given to high risk areas (Section 2.2); where noise levels exceed legislated limits in areas where employees work for significant periods of time. Administrative Controls: Administrative controls generally consist of reducing the time a worker spends in a high noise area or implementing procedures that otherwise reduce noise exposure (e.g., Restriction of access to high risk areas is an administrative control). Areas where noise levels exceed legislated limits must have signage that warns of noise hazards and/or specifies the hearing protection required for entry to the area. Refer to applicable legislation for signage requirements. Personal Hearing Protection: Ear plugs and muffs, as part of a PPE program, are discussed in Section 3.5.

3.4

Worker Education and Training There is no set amount of time or content legislated for noise training; however, it is important that workers are provided relevant information that is refreshed periodically to encourage retention. It is recommended that training be conducted at least every 2 years, addressing the following topics: Information on noise and noise measurement, Requirements of applicable noise legislation, Anatomy and physiology of the ear, The effects of noise, aging and certain chemicals on hearing, Hearing (audiometric) testing with an explanation of test procedures, The purpose of HPDs, The advantages, disadvantages, and attenuation of various types of HPDs, Instructions on HPD selection, fitting, use and care, Locations and tasks which require dual HPDs, and

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Off-the-job noise hazards.

Training should, where possible, be interactive and presented by an experienced professional. Since motivation of all workers is critical to a successful and effective HCP, training should be developed to foster understanding of the importance of hearing conservation and to motivate all work groups. 3.4.1 Training Documentation

Employee attendance at noise training sessions should be documented and tracked to ensure that all workers receive training at appropriate intervals. At a minimum, training records should include the date of the training and the workers name and job title. Other training details that could be tracked include employee signatures, training materials used, dates of training, and name of instructor(s). 3.5 Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs) HPDs must be made available at no cost to workers entering high noise areas. To be effective, HPDs must be worn consistently and correctly. It is important to establish a policy and procedures to encourage compliance with requirements for HPD use. Workers should be given instructions on the possible side effects of wearing HPDs. Such side effects include:

Interference with detection of faint sounds and understanding speech workers with hearing loss or language challenges may experience additional challenge understanding speech while wearing HPDs. A natural reaction to drop their voice level - when wearing HPDs it is important that workers maintain or even increase the voice level to improve communication with others. Reduction in volume of alarms, warnings, or call signals workers must ensure that the HPD does not interfere with audible alarm detection, or if it does, that visible alarms are requested. Change in voice quality and other body-generated sounds such as breathing, chewing and walking this can be quite isolating and disorienting until the work becomes accustomed to wearing HPDs. Selection and Care

3.5.1

One size or type of HPD will not fit all workers. Foam earplugs will fit most workers, but may be uncomfortable. If pre-moulded earplugs are used, a variety of shapes and sizes should be made available to ensure a proper fit. Custom-fitted ear plugs provide the same hearing protection as similarly rated less costly options, but custom plugs may be more comfortable to wear and as a result, increase compliance.

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HPDs for workplace use must be evaluated under the CSA Standard Z94.2-02 Hearing Protection Devices Performance, Selection, Care, and Use (as amended from time to time). Under this standard, each ear plug and muff is assigned a class (A, B, C) or grade (1, 2, 3, 4) according to the level of protection provided. Class A or Grade 4 HPDs provide the most level of protection. The Class or Grade of HPD must be selected based on potential noise exposure and in compliance with local legislation. The United States uses different criteria to evaluate hearing protection: noise reduction rating (NRR). Caution should be exercised when purchasing HPDs manufactured in the United States, as NRR is not referenced in Canadian federal or provincial legislation. Over a certain noise level (local legislation varies between 100 105 dBA), it will be necessary to wear double hearing protection (i.e., ear plugs and muffs). At very high levels, double hearing protection will be required, along with limits to duration of exposure. Workers must be instructed how to properly use and care for their HPD. Instruction should include a demonstration on how to insert ear plugs and/or wear ear muffs. For disposable ear plugs, it is important to stress single use to prevent ear infection. Ensure that manufacturers recommendations for cleaning and storing other types of ear protection is communicated and encouraged.

3.6

Hearing (Audiometric) Testing The objective of hearing testing is to determine if individual workers are experiencing hearing loss or threshold shifts in their hearing that could be a result of workplace noise exposure. This can ultimately establish the effectiveness of noise exposure controls for each worker. Hearing tests must be conducted by a qualified Audiometric Technician who is responsible for ensuring that tests are conducted in compliance with legislation and in consultation with appropriate occupational health professionals. Hearing tests must be made available at no cost to all workers potentially exposed to noise levels exceeding legislated occupational limits. Tests must be conducted within 6 months of hire or transfer to the noise-exposed position, and repeated periodically, as specified by local legislation. Should an employee decline an examination, the refusal must be documented and documentation should be filed with the employee's medical record. Employees must avoid unprotected exposure to high noise levels for 14 hours prior to hearing tests. HPDs may be used to meet this requirement.

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3.6.1

Test Results and Employee Medical Concerns

The Audiometric Technician should, where possible, review the test results with the employees and provide them with a copy at the conclusion of the test. This fulfills the HCP requirement to notify employees of their audiogram results. The Audiometric Technician should send copies of all test results to the employers designated Medical Contact who will make a medical diagnosis and referral if necessary. If the Audiometric Technician does not review the audiometric test results, then the Medical Contact must arrange for clinical review of the results by a qualified health professional, and must notify the employee, their supervisor, and the Safety Contact if any further evaluation is required. At the time of the test the Audiometric Technician will review the audiogram for indicators of hearing loss or threshold shifts. If there is an indication of hearing loss, the Audiometric Technician should ensure that a detailed history is collected, and counsel the employee on the significance of the hearing loss. Audiometric data is confidential medical information and can only be shared between the employee and their Medical Contact, unless written consent is obtained from the employee. It is important to note that the Audiometric Technicians, during the time they administer the audiometric tests, are working on behalf of the Medical Contact. 3.7 Annual Program Review and Record Keeping 3.7.1 Evaluations of HCP Effectiveness

The effectiveness of a hearing conservation program should be evaluated periodically. This can be accomplished through the annual review of leading and lagging indicators or through other internal program assessments. Suggested leading indicators of HCP effectiveness include the following: Percentage of workers with noise exposure greater than the OEL, Percent reduction of noise exposed workers over time, Percentage of employees receiving training, Percentage of audiograms completed, Percentage of facilities with noise surveys conducted within the past three years, and Number of engineering / administrative controls implemented.

Suggested lagging indicators of HCP effectiveness include the following: Rate and trend of threshold shifts, by similar exposure group, Rate and trend of stable audiograms, by similar exposure group, and Progression of hearing loss, by similar exposure group.

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Audiometric results should be analyzed by similar exposure group to provide a more meaningful review of hearing loss. HCP effectiveness can not be measured by analysis of a single audiogram. 3.7.2 Record Keeping

Documentation of HCP and related records must be maintained as specified in local legislation. As a general rule, Noise exposure assessments should be retained for the lifetime of the facility, and. Training records and hearing (audiometric) tests should be retained for the duration of employment plus an additional 10 years.

Noise exposure assessments are not considered confidential and may be filed with non-classified safety data; however, hearing test records (e.g., results and related documentation) are considered medical information and must be kept in a secure, confidential filing system with limited access, as per other medical records. It can be very helpful to file noise exposure assessments, particularly personal exposure measurements, with hearing test records to facilitate for future reference.

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Glossary
Definitions Injury to the inner ear from short but very intense noise exposure. This is the normal frequency range of human hearing: 20Hz to 20,000 Hz (20 kHz). A chart or graph resulting from a hearing test, showing the hearing threshold of an individual at certain frequencies. An instrument for measuring the threshold of hearing A Canadian agency that establishes standards and tests products for public safety. As used here, the decibel is a logarithmic unit of noise measurement that represents sound power level. For every 3 dB increase in noise level, there is a doubling of the sound power. The human ear is most sensitive at medium frequencies and less sensitive at low and high frequencies. A weighting of noise measurements increases the importance of noise at frequencies where the ear is more sensitive. The units are decibels (dB), A-weighted or dBA. Hearing Conservation Program Loss of auditory sensitivity; represented on an audiogram as an increase in the hearing threshold level. Testing which determines hearing threshold levels at specific frequencies to evaluate hearing loss or acuity. The minimum sound pressure level that can be detected by an individual in the absence of background noise. Hearing Protection Device (i.e., ear plug or ear muff). Units of measurement of frequency numerically equal to cycles per second. Noise of short duration, typically less than one second. Examples are explosions and hammering. Fluctuating noise where the level varies during an exposure. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Any unwanted sound.

Terms Acoustic trauma: Audible frequency range: Audiogram: Audiometer: Canadian Standards Association (CSA): Decibels (dB):

Decibel, A-weighted (dBA):

HCP: Hearing loss: Hearing (audiometric) test: Hearing threshold level (HTL): HPD: Hertz (Hz): Impulse / Impact noise: Intermittent noise: NIOSH Noise:

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Terms Noise Dosimeter: Noise Exposed Employee Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL): OEL:

Definitions An instrument that integrates a function of sound pressure over a period of time in such a manner that it directly indicates a noise dose. Employees who are exposed to noise at or above the OEL. Hearing loss caused by either acoustic trauma or from repeated exposure to high noise levels over an extended period of time (usually years). Occupational Exposure Limit. An 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) measured on the A-scale, slow response. The exposure limit varies depending on the length of the work shift, and regulatory jurisdiction. Measurements of a workers noise dose or time-weighted average (TWA) sound level that the employer deems to be representative of the exposure of other employees in the workplace. Sound pressure level determined by individual frequency measurements averaged over the audible frequency range and a specific time. Unit: decibels (dB). Sound Pressure Level A threshold shift is an average 10-dB age-adjusted shift across 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz in either ear from the most recent hearing (audiometric) test baseline. Time-Weighted Average. A TWA measurement is the average noise exposure level over a specific time.

Similar Exposure Group: Sound (Noise) level:

SPL: Threshold Shift:

TWA:

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Appendix A

Jurisdictions for Noise Control

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A.1

Jurisdictions for Noise Control

The following is a list of the regulatory bodies and standards which have jurisdiction over noise control and hearing conservation in Canadian lands. Alberta: Occupational Health and Safety Code 2009: Part 16 Noise Exposure (2009) British Columbia: Occupational Health and Safety Regulation: Part 7 Noise, Vibration, Radiation, & Temperature (January 2005) Manitoba: Occupational Health and Safety Regulation: Part 12 Hearing Conservation and Noise Control (2006) Newfoundland: Occupational Health and Safety Regulation: Part VI Occupational Health Requirements Section 68 (2009) New Brunswick: Occupational Health and Safety Act; General Regulation: Part V, Sections 29 to 33 (1991) Nova Scotia: Occupational Health Regulations N.S. Reg. 112/76 Section 4 (references ACGIH TLVs, as updated annually) Northwest Territories: Safety Act General Safety Regulations (RRNWT 1990, c. S-1, R-028-93 as amended) Section 30 and 31, Schedule A, Table 1 Nunavut: Safety Act General Safety Regulations (RRNWT 1990, c. S-1) Section 30 and 31, Schedule A and Mine Health and Safety Regulations, R-125-95 Section 9.19-9.26, Schedule 5 Ontario: Occupational Health and Safety Act [R.S.O. 1990, c.1] Industrial Establishments (R.R.O. 1990, Reg 851) Section 139 Prince Edward Island: Occupational Health and Safety Act General Regulations (E.C. 180/87) Part 8, Section 8.1 (references ACGIH TLVs, as updated annually) Quebec: Regulation respecting Occupational Health and Safety (O.C.885-2001) Division XV, Sections 130-141

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Saskatchewan: Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 Part VIII, Section 113 (1) Yukon Territories: Occupational Health Regulation (O.I.C. 1986/164) Section 4 Canada: Canada Labour Code, Part II, (R.S.C. 1985, c. L-2) Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, (SOR/86-304) Section 7.4(1) (b)

Standards
ANSI Standard S1.4 1983 (R2006), Specification for Sound Level Meters ANSI Standard S1.25 1991 (R1997), Specification for Personal Noise Dosimeters CSA Standard Z94.2 02, Hearing Protection Devices Performance, Selection, Care, and Use

CSA Standard Z107.56 06, Procedures for the Measurement of Occupational Noise Exposure. International Electrotechnical Commission IEC 804; Integrating-Averaging Sound Level Meters

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