239088 A proven noise control methodology

Monday, October 31, 2011

Brian Bethel, CIH , Enterprise Environmental, Health & Safety, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford
Noise is perhaps the most omnipresent occupational health hazard in today's workplace. Moreover, it is the occupational health hazard most affected by social activity. These two factors have combined to contribute to a marked increase in incidence of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) in our working population. This complex synergy between occupational and non-occupational noise exposure requires an innovative approach to risk control. Employee educational programs must evolve from the traditional singular focus on the workplace to incorporate social risk factors and controls. At the same time, noise control strategies must be expanded to engage both the workforce and the management team in the development and implementation of workplace noise controls.

The noise abatement solutions developed by the engaged teams have proven to not only be effective, but have been met with a much higher level of acceptance by the workforce when compared to abatement projects developed by the traditional means. Of equal importance, employees seems to be using hearing protection in the social setting at a much higher rate than before this new approach took hold.

This combination of leadership commitment, employee engagement and 360a education has proven to be a very effective means of hearing conservation. This methodology is adaptable to any work setting and will help move any hearing conservation program address the complex issue of noise exposure in the 21st century.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
This session will discuss a unique approach to noise control and hearing conservation that has proven to be a very effect approach to this important occupational health issue.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Occupational Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in the area of industrial noise control for over 20 years in a number of industries. This includes consumer product manufacturing, cosmetic packaging and aerospace. These industries although quite different, have significant similarities. The similarity is that employee engagement is one of the key success factors in developing corrective actions that will be implemented. This theory is supported by data that shows significant sound level reductions in these industries, lowering the risk of noise induce hearing loss in employees.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.