Evaluation of noise exposures at a precast concrete manufacturer
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Evaluation of noise exposures at a precast concrete manufacturer

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    "The Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program received a request from a precast concrete manufacturer to measure employee noise exposures and noise levels in the production areas, and to identify possible noise control options. The company manufactured precast concrete highway barriers, manholes, and other products using drycast and wetcast processes. Prior to the HHE request, the manufacturer made several changes to reduce high noise levels. During our visit, we gathered information about work processes and workplace conditions, and we evaluated employee exposures to noise and noise levels in the production areas. Employees' time-weighted average noise exposures in all of the job titles monitored exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit. All drycast operators we monitored exceeded the OSHA action limit, and one drycast operator exceeded the OSHA permissible exposure limit. Our review of audiometric test results showed some employees with (1) only baseline tests completed, (2) baseline and at least one annual audiogram, (3) gaps of time greater than 1 year between audiograms, and (4) evidence of standard threshold shifts. We observed that all employees working in the plant wore hearing protection, but we observed instances of improper use. We recommend installing engineering noise controls, improving the existing hearing conservation program, audiometric testing on a regular basis, maintaining equipment to eliminate rattling from loose parts, consulting with equipment manufacturers to reduce equipment noise, and implementing a Buy Quiet program to reduce noise exposures by replacing old with new equipment that generates less noise and vibration." - NIOSHTIC-2 NIOSH no. 20055129 Recommended citation: NIOSH [2019]. Evaluation of noise exposures at a precast concrete manufacturer. By Li JF, Brueck SE. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Health Hazard Evaluation Report 2015-0133-3339, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2015-0133-3339.pdf.
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