Contents
Cal Poly Pomona

Hearing Conservation Program

   
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0 Reference
2.0 Policy
3.0 Purpose
4.0 Responsibilities
5.0 Sound Levels
6.0 Effects of Overexposure
7.0 Noise Survey
8.0 Controlling Noise
    8.1   Administrative Controls
    8.2   Engineering Controls
    8.3   Personal Protective Equipment
9.0 Control of Noise Exposure
    9.1.  Hearing Conservation Program
    9.2   Hearing Protectors
    9.3   Training Program
    9.4   Recordkeeping

Appendices

    A. Safety Program Certification
    B. Common Equivalents of Sound Levels in Decibels (dB)
    C. How the Ear Hears
    D. Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Section 5095-5100
       Article 105 (Control of Noise Exposure)

                          

Hearing Conservation Program

1.0 REFERENCE. California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Article 105, Sections 5095 to 5100; Business Affairs Administrative Manual, Sections 112 and 120.

2.0 POLICY. It is the policy of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona to establish and maintain an effective Hearing Conservation Program (HCP) designed to eliminate or control, overexposure to harmful noise levels and to prevent occupational noise induced hearing loss to faculty, staff, and students. The University shall provide a place of employment that is safe and healthful and will not subject the campus community to avoidable hazards associated with harmful noise levels.

The University shall make every effort to identify high noise level areas on campus and shall take steps to make them readily identifiable to personnel who work in these areas. Protective measures shall be provided by means of engineering controls, administrative controls, and or by providing personal protective equipment when necessary. Employees who's 8-hour time-weighted average noise level exposure equals or exceeds 85 decibels will be enrolled in a hearing conservation program (see Section 9.1).

The University shall provide at no cost to employees a hearing examination designed to provide safe job placement of employees, satisfactory maintenance of employee hearing levels, and to ascertain the effectiveness of noise control methods.

3.0 PURPOSE.

3.1 The purpose of this program is to provide workers, supervisors, and management with an understanding of the seriousness of the threat posed by industrial noise and to explain what departments must do, by law, to control occupational noise exposure.

3.2 According to the U. S. Public Health Services, some 28 million people have their hearing impaired. An estimated 10 million cases of hearing loss are associated with (caused by) excessive noise. People who are exposed to high noise levels for long periods of time can develop noise-induced hearing loss. This is a permanently untreatable condition. Hearing aids only help to amplify different sounds, but they cannot make a person hear any better.

4.0 RESPONSIBILITIES.

4.1 Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Office

a. coordinates the campus Hearing Conservation Program, providing consultation to departments according to their specific needs;

b. conducts noise surveys in response to department requests or upon EH&S initiative;

c. provides hearing conservation training to employees enrolled in the hearing conservation program;

d. assists departments in developing methods for noise abatement, reduction or control;

e. approves personal protective devices considered for purchase by departments;

f. establishes and conducts an audiometric testing program for appropriate employees, providing consultation and notification of exam results;

g. maintains and makes available records of exposure measurements and audiometric tests;

h. maintains records of general training activities; and

i. provides University departments with updated and current regulatory information with regard to hearing conservation.

4.2 Departments

a. ensure that noise control is considered when procuring equipment, machinery and tools;

b. identify areas that may overexpose employees to harmful levels of noise and notify the EH&S Office;

c. plan for implementation methods for noise abatement, reduction or control;

d. provide and arrange for hearing conservation training for employees covered by the Hearing Conservation Program; ensure that they read, and understand, and comply with all appropriate safety procedures, whether written or oral, and sign the Safety Program Certification Statement, Form EH&S F-333-02 (see Appendix A);

e. ensure that appropriate personal protective equipment is procured and provided to appropriate employees; enforce the use of such devices when required by Sections 8.3 and 9.2; ensure that such devices are kept in good repair and maintained in a sanitary manner; and

f. make available, to all employees, information regarding occupational hearing conservation and other relative health and safety data.

4.3 Employees

a. report any suspected high noise areas to your supervisor;

b. use common sense and good judgment at all times; the number of potential hazards that may exist or be created in the work place is sometimes unpredictable;

c. request and expect to receive (within a reasonable time frame) information regarding health and safety.

d. read, understand and comply with ail appropriate safety procedures, whether writ ten or oral, while performing assigned duties; and

e. complete and sign the Safety Program Certification Statement, Form EH&S F-333-02 (see Appendix A).

5.0 SOUND LEVELS. The table in Appendix B shows some common equivalents of sound levels in decibels (dB). Decibels are a unit of measure for sound. Exposure to noise with a loudness of 80dB is annoying. It is roughly equivalent to the noise level of an alarm clock about two feet from your ear. Exposure to 90dB can cause physical damage to the ear. Noise at about 120dBA, can actually be painful and permanently damaging.

6.0 EFFECTS OF OVEREXPOSURE.

6.1 The ear has three sections (see Appendix C). The outer ear helps to direct sound into the auditory canal (Ear Canal). The middle ear, separated from the outer ear by the eardrum, consists of three connected bones which transmit the vibrations of the eardrum to the inner ear. In the inner ear a snail shaped organ, the cochlea, transforms the vibrations into nerve impulses for transmission to the brain along the auditory nerve. The cochlea is lined with cells equipped with tiny hairs and is filed with liquid. As the liquid moves in response to the vibrations of the bones of the middle ear, the hairs move sending nerve impulses to the brain for decoding. The effect of continued overexposure to noise is the destruction of the hair cells and a permanent loss of hearing.

6.2 The first warning of hearing loss is often the inability to hear high frequency sounds. People with hearing deficiencies caused by overexposure to noise lose sensitivity to sound at about 4,000 Hz, the approximate frequency of a voice on the telephone. If the overexposure continues, the damage will gradually be extended until the entire hearing range is affected. As more and more hair cells of the inner ear are destroyed, the ability to hear is progressively and permanently reduced. Damaged hair cells cannot be repaired or replaced. As a person loses sensitivity to higher frequencies, sounds become distorted. He/she may be able to hear a conversation but not be able to understand it. The use of a hearing aid makes the sound louder, but not clearer. The sound will still be distorted.

6.3 Overexposure to noise affects the entire body. It is associated with tinnitus (ringing in the ears), increased pulse rate, hypertension, increased secretion of certain hormones, tiredness, nervousness, sleeplessness, and other symptoms of stress.

6.4 How can you tell there is a noise problem where you work? Common indications of overexposures to noise are:

a. difficulty hearing normal speech in the work area.

b. raised voice level for communication at normal distance.

c. ringing in the ears after leaving the work area.

6.5 If you suspect that there is a noise problem, the next step is to request a noise survey. The purpose of the survey is to:

a. measure the noise levels for an area or work task

b. identify the source of the noise, and

c. determine what corrective measures to take

7.0 NOISE SURVEY. Noise surveys are technically complicated and require expensive equipment. The EH&S Office has the necessary equipment to conduct noise level surveys. If a noise survey is needed, the affected employee may inform his/her supervisor who will in turn request this service from the EH&S Office. Noise surveys fall into two broad categories. They are:

a. Preliminary noise survey

b. Detailed noise survey

7.1 The preliminary noise survey, for all practical matters is not a real survey, rather it is an assessment of the noise types and levels in a given area. This survey is useful in determining if a potential noise problem exists.

7.2 The detailed noise survey involves the collection of specific data during three main steps:

a. Area measurements

b. Workstation measurements

c. Exposure duration

7.3 There are four reasons for the detailed survey.

a. To obtain specific information from a work station.

b. Develop guidelines for establishing controls.

c. Define areas where hearing protection is required, and

d. Determine the need for employee inclusion into a hearing conservation program.

8.0 CONTROLLING NOISE.

The most effective controls are engineering controls introduced at the time a structure or machinery is being designed or installed. When the facilities have been built and machinery is already in place and operating, such controls are likely to be more expensive.

If the noise survey reveals a potentially high noise problem there are usually many alternative ways to reduce the exposure to within acceptable limits. The EH&S Office should be able to help the department choose a method which is not only effective but which is also economically feasible.

8.1 Administrative Controls. These may also be referred to as operational controls. Administrative controls include adjusting work schedules to reduce exposure time; limiting machine- operating time; or restricting equipment purchases to a specified maximum sound level.

8.2 Engineering Controls. Engineering controls include barriers, damping, isolation; musing, noise absorption, mechanical isolation, variations in force, pressure or driving speed, and combinations of these and other means of reducing noise. Engineering controls, which regulate noise at its source, often involves customized equipment modifications. Cost for these controls can be expensive, however. Depending on the situation, a combination of Administrative and Engineering controls can be effective and affordable.

8.3 Personal Protective Equipment. When engineering and/or administrative controls either fail to reduce to within acceptable limits or are not technologically feasible, hearing protectors must be used.

When either ear muffs or ear plugs are used, the department should have a sufficient variety to insure that workers can get a good fit. Protective devices should be both effective and comfortable. Ear plugs are made of soft, flexible materials which will conform to the shape of the wearer's ear canal.

When ear muffs are used, make sure that the seal between the muff and the head is tight. Long hair, glasses, and other obstructions may diminish the effectiveness of the device.

9.0 CONTROL OF NOISE EXPOSURE.

The State of California has adopted a set of regulations governing exposure of workers to noise in the workplace. The regulations set exposure limits and detail the University's responsibilities when the limits are exceeded.

The following is a summary of the General Industry Safety Orders regulating exposure of workers to occupational noise. The actual regulations are attached for reference (see Appendix D).

9.1 Hearing Conservation Program. When workers are exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) of 85 decibels or greater, the University shall institute a hearing conservation program which includes monitoring exposure, audiometric testing and evaluation of the audiogram results for all exposed workers.

Required audiometric testing must be conducted by a licensed audiologist, otolaryngologist, qualified physician, or trained technician, and the tests made available to employees. Annual audiograms are compared with the baseline audiogram to determine if there has been any deterioration of the worker's hearing (threshold shift). if a worker suffers a significant threshold shift, the University must fit or refit the worker with hearing protectors, train or retrain him/her in their use, and make sure they are used.

9.2 Hearing Protectors. OSHA's Hearing Conservation Amendments specifies that Hearing Protectors (HP) must be made available to employees when their TWA daily noise exposures exceed 85 dBA and mandates the use of HP when exposures exceed 90dBA. Workers must wear hearing protectors when:

they are exposed to a sound level of 85 dBA or greater and have had a significant threshold shift in hearing.

they are exposed to noise in excess of the limits set in Table N-1 Permissible Noise Exposure, Section 5096 of the California Code of Regulations under Title 8. (Appendix D).

Departments have the responsibility to offer workers a variety of suitable hearing protectors, train workers in the use and care of the devices, and ensure the proper initial fit.

9.3 Training Program. Departments that employ workers who are exposed to noise at or above 85 dBA shall include those employees in an annual training program and shall ensure employee participation in such program. The program topics will include:

a. the effects of noise on hearing,

b. the purpose and effectiveness of hearing protectors, and

c. the purpose and an explanation of audiometric testing.

The department must make available to workers the Cal-OSHA regulations on exposure to noise (see Appendix D or Article 105 of the Cal-OSHA Safety Orders).

9.4 Recordkeeping and Records Access. EH&S Office will maintain records of:

a. exposure measurements for at least 2 years,

b. audiometric tests for the duration of the affected employee's employment, and

c. audiometric test rooms for the same period.

These records must be made available to workers, former workers, worker representatives, and authorized representatives of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health The Request for Medical and Exposure Records Access, Form EH&S F-251 -00, and Authorization for Release of Medical Record Information, Form EH&S F-1665-00, shall be used for this purpose.

APPENDIX A

  CALIFORNIA STATE POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY, POMONA
              ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND SAFETY

        SAFETY PROGRAM CERTIFICATION STATEMENT


I certify that I have read the foregoing safety program and fully
understand my responsibilities with respect to the policy and
procedures as outlined. l further agree to comply with the
provisions of this program.




___________________________________________________________
NAME OF SAFETY PROGRAM




___________________________________________________________
EMPLOYEE SIGNATURE                                                            DATE




___________________________________________________________
DEPARTMENT





Distribution:	Department Office - White
		Employee- Canary
		Personnel Services - Pink

EH&S F-333-02 Fee 3/95
                          

APPENDIX B

    COMMON EQUIVALENTS OF
SOUND LEVELS IN DECIBELS (dB)

 SOURCE SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL


Jet Plane
Gunshot                            140


Riveting (steel tank)              130


Auto Horn
Thunder                            120


Power Saw
Rock Band                          110


Punch Press
Garbage Truck                      100


Subway
Heavy Truck                         90


Restaurant
Alarm Clock                         80


Conversation                        70


Soft Whisper                        30

                          
Exposure to noise with a loudness of 80dB is annoying. It is roughly equivalent to the noise level of an alarm clock about two feet from your ear. Exposure to a 90 dBA (A = time weighted average) can cause physical damage to the ear. At about 120 dBA hearing actually becomes painful and damage to hearing, certain and rapid.

APPENDIX C

APPENDIX D

Group 15. Occupational Noise

Article 105. Control of Noise Exposure

5095. General.

(a) Scope and Application. Article 105 establishes requirements for controlling occupational exposures to noise. Agriculture, construction, and oil and gas well drilling and servicing operations are exempt from the provisions of Sections 5097 through 5100.

(b) Definitions.

Action Level. An 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels measured on the A-scale, slow response, or equivalently, a dose of fifty percent.

Audiogram. A chart, graph, or table resulting from an audiometric test showing an individual's hearing threshold levels as a function of frequency.

Audiologist. A professional, specializing in the study and rehabilitation of hearing, who is certified by the American Speech, Hearing and Language Association or licensed by a state board of examiners.

Baseline Audiogram. The audiogram against which future audiograms are compared.

Criterion Sound Level. A sound level of 90 decibels.

Decibel (dB). Unit of measurement of sound level.

dBA (Decibels-A-Weighted). A unit of measurement of sound level corrected to the A-weighted scale, as defined in ANSI S1.4-1971 (R1976), using a reference level of 20 micropascals (0.00002 Newton per square meter).

Hertz (Hz). Unit of measurement of frequency, numerically equal to cycles per second.

Medical Pathology. A disorder or disease. For purposes of this regulation, a condition or disease affecting the ear, which should be treated by a physician specialist.

Otolaryngologist. A physician specializing in diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ear, nose and throat.

Representative Exposure. Measurements of an employee's noise dose or 8-hour time-weighted average sound level that the employer deems to be representative of exposures of other employees in the workplace.

Sound Level. Ten times the common logarithm of the ratio of the square of the measured A-weighted sound pressure to the square of the standard reference pressure of 20 micropascals. Unit: decibels (dB). For use with this regulation, SLOW time response, in accordance with ANSI S1.4-1971 (R1976), is required.

Sound Level Meter. An instrument for the measurement of sound level.

Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

History

1. Repealer of Group 15, (Article 105, Sections 5095-5099) and new Group 15, (Article 105, Sections 5095-5100 and Appendices A-E) field 6-28-82: effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 82, No. 27) For prior history, see register 72, No. 6.

2. Amendment field 10-3-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 41).

5096. Exposure Limits for Noise.

(a) Protection against the effects of noise exposure shall be provided when the sound levels exceed those shown in Table N-1 of this section when measured on the A-scale of a standard sound level meter at slow response.

(b) When employees are subjected to sound levels exceeding those listed in Table N-1 of this section, feasible administrative or engineering controls shall be utilized. If such controls fail to reduce sound levels within the levels of the table, personal protective equipment shall be provided and used to reduce sound levels within the levels of the table.

Table N-1 Permissible Noise Exposure

      Permitted Duration                   Permitted Duration
        per Workday                          per Workday

Sound                                Sound
Level        Hours-                  Level       Hours-
(dBA)        Minutes)    Hours       (dBa)       Minutes      Hours
90           8-0         8.00        103         1-19         1.32
91           6-58        6.96        104         1-9          1.15
92           6-4         6.06        105         1-0          1.00
93           5-17        5.28        106         0-52         0.86
94           4-36        4.60        107         0-46         0.76
95           4-0         4.00        108         0-40         0.66
96           3-29        3.48        109         0-34         0.56
97           3-2         3.03        110         0-30         0.50
98           2-38        2.63        111         0-26         0.43
99           2-18        2.30        112         0-23         0.38
100          2-0         2.00        113         0-20         0.33
101          1-44        1.73        114         0-17         0.28
102          1-31        1.52        115         0-15         0.25

Note: When the daily noise exposure is composed of two or more periods of noise exposure of different levels, their combined effect should be considered, rather than the individual effect of each. If the sum of the following fractions: C1 /T1 + C2 /T2...Cn /Tn exceeds unity, then, the mixed exposure should be considered to exceed the limit value. Cn indicates the total time of exposure at a specified noise level, and Tn indicates the total time of exposure permitted at that level.

(c) If the variations in noise level involve maxima at intervals of 1 second or less, the noise is to be considered continuous.

(d) Exposure to impulsive or impact noise should not exceed 140 dB peak sound pressure level.

Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

5097. Hearing Conservation Program.

(a) General. The employer shall administer a continuing, effective hearing conservation program, as described in this section, whenever employee noise exposures equal or exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average sound level (TWA) of 85 decibels measured on the A-scale (slow response) or, equivalently, a dose of fifty percent. For purposes of the hearing conservation program, employee noise exposures shall be computed in accordance with Appendix A and Table A-1 and without regard to any attenuation provided by the use of personal protective equipment.

(b) Monitoring.

(1) When information indicates that any employee's exposure may equal or exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels, the employer shall obtain measurements for employees who may be exposed at or above that level. Such determinations shall be made by December 1, 1982.

(2) The monitoring requirement shall be met by either area monitoring or personal monitoring that is representative of the employee's exposure.

(A) The sampling strategy shall be designed to identify employees for inclusion in the hearing conservation program and to enable the proper selection of hearing protectors.

(B) Where circumstances such as high worker mobility, significant variations in sound level, or a significant component of impulse noise make area monitoring generally inappropriate, the employer shall use representative personal sampling to comply with the monitoring requirements of this section unless the employer can show that area sampling produces equivalent results.

(C) All continuous, intermittent and impulsive sound levels from 80 dB to 130 dB shall be integrated into the computation.

(D) Instruments used to measure employee noise exposure shall be calibrated to ensure measurement accuracy.

(3) Monitoring shall be repeated whenever a change in production, process, equipment or controls increases noise exposures to the extent that:

(A) Additional employees may be exposed at or above the action level; or

(B) The attenuation provided by hearing protectors being used by employees may be rendered inadequate to meet the requirements of Section 5098(b).

(4) The employer shall provide affected employees or their representatives with an opportunity to observe any measurements of employee noise exposure which are conducted pursuant to this section.

(5) The employer shall notify each employee exposed at or above the action level of the results of the monitoring.

(c) Audiometric Testing Program.

(1) The employer shall establish and maintain an audiometric testing program as provided in this section by making audiometric testing available to all employees whose exposures equal or exceed the action level.

(2) The program shall be provided at no cost to employees.

(3) Audiometric tests shall be performed by a licensed or certified audiologist, otolaryngologist, or other physician, or by a technician who is certified by the Council of Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation, or who has satisfactorily demonstrated competence in administering audiometric examinations, obtaining valid audiograms, and properly using, maintaining and checking calibration and proper functioning of the audiometers being used. A technician who performs audiometric tests must be responsible to an audiologist, otolaryngologist or physician.

(4) All audiograms obtained pursuant to this section shall meet the requirements of Appendix B: Audiometric Measuring Instruments.

(5) The employer shall establish for each employee exposed at or above the action level a valid baseline audiogram against which subsequent audiograms can be compared.

(6) Testing to establish a baseline audiogram shall be preceded by at least 14 hours without exposure to workplace noise. This requirement may be met by wearing hearing protectors which will reduce the employee's exposure to a sound level of 80 dBA or below.

(7) The employer shall notify employees of the need to avoid high levels of non-occupational noise exposure during the 14-hour period immediately preceding the audiometric examination.

(8) Audiometric tests shall be made available to employees by June 1, 1983 or within 6 months of an employee's first exposure at or above the action level, except that where a mobile test van is used to conduct the audiometric test, the test shall be made available within one year of an employee's first exposure at or above the action level provided that all such employees are given an opportunity for testing.

Note: This requirement may be met by an audiogram available to the employer upon the effective date of this section provided the conditions under which the audiometric test was performed were the same as prescribed by this section.

(9) Where an employer chooses to have audiometric tests performed by a mobile test van in accordance with Section 5097(c)(8) and an employee's baseline audiogram has not been obtained within 6 months of the employee's first exposure at or above the action level, the employer shall make hearing protectors available to the employee in accordance with Section 5098 and require that the hearing protectors are worn by the employee until the baseline audiogram is obtained.

(10) At least annually after obtaining the baseline audiogram, the employer shall obtain a new audiogram for each employee exposed at or above the action level.

(d) Evaluation of Audiogram.

(1) Each employee's annual audiogram shall be compared to that employee's baseline audiogram to determine if the audiogram is valid and if a standard threshold shift, as defined in Section 5097(d)(8), has occurred. This comparison may be done by a technician.

(2) If the annual audiogram shows that an employee has suffered a standard threshold shift, the employer may obtain a retest within 30 days and consider the results of the retest as the annual audiogram.

(3) An audiologist, otolaryngologist or physician shall review problem audiograms and shall determine whether there is a need for further evaluation. The employer shall provide to the person performing this evaluation the following information:

(A) A copy of the requirements for hearing conservation as set forth in Sections 5097, 5098, 5099 and 5100.

(B) The baseline audiogram and most recent audiogram of the employee to be evaluated.

(C) Measurements of background sound pressure levels in the audiometric test room as required in Appendix C, Audiometric Test Rooms.

(D) Records of audiometric calibrations required by paragraph (f) of this section.

(4) If a comparison of the annual audiogram to the baseline audiogram indicates a standard threshold shift as defined by Section 5097(d)(8), the employee shall be informed of this fact, in writing, within 21 days of the determination.

(5) Unless a physician determines that the standard threshold shift is not work related or aggravated by occupational noise exposure, the employer shall ensure that the following steps are taken when a standard threshold shift occurs:

(A) An employee not using hearing protectors shall be fitted with hearing protectors, trained in their use and care, and required to use them; and

(B) An employee already using hearing protectors shall be refitted and retrained in the use of hearing protectors and provided with hearing protectors offering greater attenuation if necessary.

(C) Refer the employee for a clinical audiological evaluation or an otological examination, as appropriate, if additional testing is necessary or if the employer suspects that a medical pathology of the ear is caused or aggravated by the wearing of hearing protectors.

(D) Inform the employee of the need for an otological examination if a medical pathology of the ear which is unrelated to the use of hearing protectors is suspected.

(6) If subsequent audiometric testing of an employee whose exposure to noise is less than an 8-hour time-weighted average of 90 decibels indicates that a standard threshold shift is not persistent, the employer:

(A) Shall inform the employee of the new audiometric interpretation; and

(B) May discontinue the required use of hearing protectors for that employee.

(7) An annual audiogram may be substituted for the baseline audiogram when in the judgment of the audiologist, otolaryngologist or physician who is evaluating the audiogram:

(A) The standard threshold shift revealed by the audiogram is persistent; or

(B) The hearing threshold shown in the annual audiogram indicates significant improvement over the baseline audiogram.

(8) As used in this section, a standard threshold shift is a change in hearing threshold relative to the baseline audiogram of an average of 10 dB or more at 2000, 3000 and 4000 Hz in either ear.

(9) In determining whether a standard threshold shift has occurred, allowance may be made for the contribution of aging (presbycusis) to the change in hearing level by correcting the annual audiogram according to the procedure described in Appendix F: Determination and Application of Age Correction to Audiograms.

(e) Audiometric Test Requirements.

(1) Audiometric tests shall be pure tone, air conduction, hearing threshold examinations, with test frequencies including as a minimum 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 and 6000 Hz. Tests at each frequency shall be taken separately for each ear.

(2) Audiometric tests shall be conducted with audiometers (including microprocessor audiometers) that meet the specifications of, and are maintained and used in accordance with, ANSI S3.6-1969.

(3) Pulsed-tone and self-recording audiometers, if used, shall meet the requirements specified in Appendix B, Audiometric Measuring Instruments.

(4) Audiometric examinations shall be administered in a room meeting the requirements listed in Appendix C, Audiometric Test Rooms.

(f) Audiometer Calibration.

(1) The functional operation of the audiometer shall be checked before each day's use by testing a person with known, stable hearing thresholds, and by listening to the audiometer's output to make sure that the output is free from distorted or unwanted sounds. Deviations of 10 dB or greater shall require an acoustic calibration.

(2) Audiometer calibration shall be checked acoustically at least annually in accordance with Appendix D, Acoustic Calibration of Audiometers. Test frequencies below 500 Hz and above 6000 Hz may be omitted from this check. Deviations of 15 dB or greater necessitate an exhaustive calibration.

(3) An exhaustive calibration shall be performed at least every two years in accordance with Sections 4.1.2, 4.1.3, 4.1.4.3, 4.2, 4.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3, and 4.5 of ANSI S3.6-1969. Test frequencies below 500 Hz and above 6000 Hz may be omitted from this calibration.

Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

History

1. Amendment filed 10-3-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 41).

5098.Hearing Protectors.

(a) General.

(1) Employers shall make hearing protectors available to all employees exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or greater at no cost to the employees. Hearing protectors shall be replaced as necessary.

(2) Employers shall ensure that hearing protectors are worn by all employees:

(A) Who are required by Section 5096(b) to wear personal protective equipment; or

(B) Who are exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or greater, and who:

1. Are required by Section 5097(c)(9) to wear hearing protectors because baseline audiograms have not yet been established; or

2. Have experienced a standard threshold shift.

(3) Employees shall be given the opportunity to select their hearing protectors from a variety of suitable hearing protectors provided by the employer.

(4) The employer shall provide training in the use and care of all hearing protectors provided to employees.

(5) The employer shall ensure proper initial fitting and supervise the correct use of all hearing protectors.

(b) Hearing Protector Attenuation.

(1) The employer shall evaluate hearing protector attenuation for the specific noise environments in which the protector will be used. The employer shall use one of the methods described in Appendix E, Methods for Estimating the Adequacy of Hearing Protector Attenuation.

(2) Hearing protectors must attenuate employee exposure at least to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 90 decibels as required by Section 5096(b).

(3) For employees who have experienced a standard threshold shift, hearing protectors must attenuate employee exposures to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or below.

(4) The adequacy of hearing protector attenuation shall be reevaluated whenever employee noise exposures increase to the extent that the hearing protectors provided may no longer provide adequate attenuation. The employer shall provide more effective hearing protectors where necessary.

Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

History

1. Amendment filed 10-3-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 41).

5099. Training Program.

(a) General.

(1) The employer shall institute a training program for all employees who are exposed to noise at or above an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 dBA, and shall ensure employee participation in such program.

(2) The training program shall be repeated annually for each employee included in the hearing conservation program. Information provided in the training program shall be updated to be consistent with changes in protective equipment and work processes.

(3) The employer shall ensure that each employee is informed of the following:

(A) The effects of noise on hearing;

(B) The purpose of hearing protectors, the advantages, disadvantages, and attenuation of various types, and instructions on selection, fitting, use, and care; and

(C) The purpose of audiometric testing, and an explanation of the test procedures.

(b) Access to Information and Training Materials.

(1) The employer shall make available to affected employees or their representatives copies of Article 105 and shall also post a copy in the workplace.

(2) The employer shall provide to affected employees any informational materials pertaining to this standard that are supplied to the employer by U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

(3) The employer shall provide, upon request, all materials related to the employer's training and education program pertaining to this standard to authorized representatives of the Chief of the Division and the Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

History

1. Amendment filed 10-3-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 41).

2. Editorial Correction of subsection (b) (1) printing error (Register 90, No.41).

5100.Recordkeeping.

(a) Exposure Measurements.

The employer shall maintain an accurate record of all employee exposure measurements required by Section 5097(b).

(b) Audiometric Tests.

(1) The employer shall retain all employee audiograms obtained pursuant to Section 5097(c) and (d).

(2) This record shall include:

(A) Name and job classification of the employee.

(B) Date of the audiogram.

(C) The examiner's name.

(D) Date of the last acoustic or exhaustive calibration of the audiometer.

(E) Employee's most recent noise exposure assessment.

(c) Audiometric Test Rooms.

The employer shall maintain accurate records of the measurements required by Appendix C, Audiometric Test Rooms, of the background sound pressure levels in audiometric test rooms.

(d) Record Retention. The employer shall retain records required in this section for at least the following periods:

(1) Noise exposure measurement records shall be retained for 2 years.

(2) Audiometric test records shall be retained for the duration of the affected employee's employment.

(e) Access to Records. All records required by this section shall be provided upon request to employees, former employees, representatives designated by the individual employee and any authorized representative of the Chief of the Division. The provisions of Sections 3204(a)-(g) and (h) apply to access to records required by this section.

(f) Transfer of Records. If the employer ceases to do business, the employer shall transfer to the successor employer all records required to be maintained by this section, and the successor employer shall retain them for the remainder of the period prescribed in Section 5100(d).

Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

History

1. Amendment filed 10-3-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 41).

Appendix A

Noise Exposure Computation

I. Computation of Employee Noise Exposure

(a) Noise dose is computed using Table A-1 as follows: When the sound level, L, is constant over the entire work shift, the noise dose, D, in percent, is given by: D = 100 C/T where C is the total length of the work day, in hours, and T is the reference duration corresponding to the measured sound level, L, as given in Table A-1 or by the formula shown as a footnote to that table.

(b) When the workshift noise exposure is composed of two or more periods of noise at different levels, the total noise dose over the work day is given by: D = 100 (C1/T1 + C2/T2 +...+ Cn/Tn), where Cn indicates the total time of exposure at a specific noise level, and Tn indicates the reference duration for that level as given by Table A-1.

(c) The eight-hour time-weighted average sound level (TWA), in decibels, may be computed from the dose, in percent, by means of the formula: TWA = 16.61 log10 (D/100) + 90. For an eight-hour workshift with the noise level constant over the entire shift, the TWA is equal to the measured sound level.

(d) A table relating dose and TWA is given in Section II.


                                Table A-1
  A-weight           Reference         A-weight           Reference
sound level           Duration        sound level          Duration
   L (decibel)         T (hour)         L (decibel)         T (hour)

      80                 32                106                 0.87
      81                 27.9              107                 0.76
      82                 24.3              108                 0.66
      83                 21.1              109                 0.57
      84                 18.4              110                 0.5
      85                 16                111                 0.44
      86                 13.9              112                 0.38
      87                 12.1              113                 0.33
      88                 10.6              114                 0.29
      89                 9.2               115                 0.25
      90                 8                 116                 0.22
      91                 7.0               117                 0.19
      92                 6.1               118                 0.16
      93                 5.3               119                 0.14
      94                 4.6               120                 0.125
      95                 4                 121                 0.11
      96                 3.5               122                 0.095
      97                 3.0               123                 0.082
      98                 2.6               124                 0.072
      99                 2.3               125                 0.063
     100                 2                 126                 0.054
     101                 1.7               127                 0.047
     102                 1.5               128                 0.041
     103                 1.3               129                 0.036
     104                 1.1               130                 0.031
     105                 1

In the above table, the reference duration, T, is computed by

T = 8/2Exp(L-90)/5

where L is the measured A-weighted sound level.

II. Conversion Between "Dose" and "8-Hour Time-Weighted Average" Sound Level.

Noise exposure is usually measured with an audiodosimeter which gives a readout in terms of "dose." Dosimeter readings can be converted to an 8-hour time-weighted average sound level (TWA).

In order to convert the reading of a dosimeter into TWA, use Table A-2. This table applies to dosimeters that are set to calculate dose or percent exposure according to the relationships in Table A-1. So, for example, a dose of 91 percent over an eight hour day results in a TWA of 89.3 dB, and a dose of 50 percent corresponds to a TWA of 85 dB.

If the dose as read on the dosimeter is less than or greater than the values found in Table A-2, the TWA may be calculated by using the formula:

TWA = 16.61 log10 (D/100) + 90 where TWA = 8-hour time-weighted average sound level and D = accumulated dose in percent exposure.

Table A-2
Conversion form "Percent Noise Exposure" or "Dose" to "8-Hour
Time weighted Average Sound Level" (TWA)

Dose or				Dose or				Dose or
Percent Noise			Percent Noise			Percent Noise
Exposure	TWA		Exposure	TWA		Exposure	TWA
10		3.4		116		91.1		510		101.8
15		76.3		117		91.1		520		101.9
20		78.4		118		91.2		530		102.0
25		80.0		119		91.3		540		102.2
30		81.3		120		91.3		550		102.3
35		82.4		125		91.6		560		102.4
40		83.4		130		91.9		570		102.6
45		84.2		135		92.2		580		102.7
50		85.0		140		92.4		590		102.8
55		85.7		145		92.7		600		102
60		86.3		150		92.9		610		103.0
65		86.9		155		93.2		620		103.2
70		93.4		87.4		160		630		103.3
75		87.9		165		93.6		640		103.4
80		88.4		170		93.8		650		103.5
81		88.5		175		94.0		660		103.6
82		88.6		180		94.2		670		103.7
83		88.7		185		94.4		680		103.8
84		88.7		190		94.6		690		103.9
85		88.8		195		94.8		700		104.0
86		88.9		200		95.0		710		104.1
87		89.9		210		95.4		720		104.2
88		89.1		220		95.7		730		104.3
89		89.2		230		96.0		740		104.4
90		89.2		240		96.3		750		104.5
91		89.3		250		96.6		760		104.6
92		89.4		260		96.9		770		104.7
93		89.5		270		97.2		780		104.8
94		89.6		280		97.4		790		104.9
95		89.6		290		97.7		800		105.0
96		89.7		300		97.9		810		105.1
97		89.8		310		98.2		820		105.2
98		89.9		320		98.4		830		105.3
99		89.9		330		98.6		840		105.4
100		90.0		340		98.8		850		105.4
101		90.1		350		99.0		860		105.5
102		90.1		360		99.2		870		105.6
103		90.2		370		99.4		880		105.7
104		90.3		380		99.6		890		105.8
105		90.4		390		99.8		900		105.8
106		90.4		400		100.0		910		105.9
107		90.5		410		100.2		920		106.0
108		90.6		420		100.4		930		106.1
109		90.6		430		100.5		940		106.2
110		90.7		440		100.7		950		106.2
111		90.8		450		100.8		960		106.3
112		90.8		460		101.0		970		106.4
113		90.9		470		101.2		980		106.5
114		90.9		480		101.3		990		106.5
115		91.1		490		101.5		999		106.6
500		101.6		500		101.6

Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

History

1. Editorial correction of Table A-1 filed 3-22-84; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 84, No.12).

2. Amendment of Table A-1 filed 8-28-84; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 84, No. 35).

Appendix B

Audiometric Measuring Instruments

I. In the event that pulsed-tone audiometers are used, they shall have tone on-time of at least 200 milliseconds.

II. Self-recording audiometers shall comply with the following requirements:

(a) The chart upon which the audiogram is traced shall have lines at positions corresponding to all multiples of 10 dB hearing level within the intensity range spanned by the audiometer. The lines shall be equally spaced and shall be separated by at least 1/4 inch. Additional increments are optional. The audiogram pen tracings shall not exceed 2 dB in width.

(b) It shall be possible to set the stylus manually at the 10-dB increment lines for calibration purposes.

(c) The slewing rate for the audiometer attenuator shall not be more than 6 dB except that an initial slewing rate greater than 6 dB is permitted at the beginning of each new test frequency, but only until the second subject response.

(d) The audiometer shall remain at each required test frequency for 30 seconds ( + 3 seconds). The audiogram shall be clearly marked at each change of frequency and the actual frequency change of the audiometer shall not deviate from the frequency boundaries marked on the audiogram by more than 3 seconds.

(e) It must be possible at each test frequency to place a horizontal line segment parallel to the time axis on the audiogram, such that the audiometric tracing crosses the line segment at least six times at that test frequency. At each test frequency, the threshold shall be the average of the midpoints of the tracing excursions.

Appendix C

Audiometric Test Rooms

Rooms used for audiometric testing shall not have background sound pressure levels exceeding those in Table C-1 when measured by equipment conforming at least to the Type 2 requirements of ANSI S1.4-1971 (R1976), and to the Class II requirements of ANSI S1.11-1971 (R1976).

Table C-1

Maximum Allowable Octave-Band Sound Pressure Levels for

Audiometric Test Rooms Octave-band center frequency (Hz) 500 1000 2000 4000 8000 Sound pressure level (dB) 40 40 47 57 62 Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

History

1. Amendment filed 10-3-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 41).

Appendix D

Acoustic Calibration of Audiometers

I. Audiometer calibration shall be checked acoustically, at least annually, according to the procedures described in this Appendix. The equipment necessary to perform these measurements is a sound level meter, octave-band filter set, and a National Bureau of Standards 9A coupler. In making these measurements, the accuracy of the calibrating equipment shall be sufficient to determine that the audiometer is within the tolerances permitted by ANSI S3.6-1969.

(a) Sound Pressure Output Check.

(1) Place the earphone coupler over the microphone of the sound level meter and place the earphone on the coupler.

(2) Set the audiometer's hearing threshold level (HTL) dial to 70 dB.

(3) Measure the sound pressure level of the tones at each test frequency from 500 Hz through 6000 Hz for each earphone.

(4) At each frequency the readout on the sound level meter should correspond to the levels in Table D-1 or Table D-2, as appropriate, for the type of earphone, in the column entitled "sound level meter reading."

(b) Linearity Check.

(1) With the earphone in place, set the frequency to 1000 Hz and the HTL dial on the audiometer to 70 dB.

(2) Measure the sound levels in the coupler at each 10dB decrement from 70 dB to 10 dB, noting the sound level meter reading at each setting.

(3) For each 10-dB decrement on the audiometer, the sound level meter should indicate a corresponding 10 dB decrease.

(4) This measurement may be made electrically with a voltmeter connected to the earphone terminals.

(c) Tolerances.

When any of the measured sound levels deviate from the levels in Table D-1 or Table D-2 by 3 dB at any test frequency between 500 and 3000 Hz, 4 dB at 4000 Hz, or 5 dB at 6000 Hz, an exhaustive calibration is advised. An exhaustive calibration is required if the deviations are 15 dB or greater at any test frequency.

Table D-2

		Reference Threshold Levels for Telephonics TDH-39 Earphones
				Reference Threshold
				Level for TDH-39
Frequency			Hz Earphones dB		Sound Level Meter Reading, dB
500				11.5			81.5
1000				7			77
2000				9			79
3000				10			80
4000				9.5			79.5
6000				15.5			85.5


Table D-2

		Reference Threshold Levels for Telephonics TDH-49 Earphones
				Reference Threshold
				Level for TDH-49
Frequency			Hz Earphones dB		Sound Level Meter Reading, dB

500				13.5			83.5
1000				7.5			77.5
2000				11			81.0
3000				9.5			79.5
4000				10.5			80.5
6000				13.5			83.5

Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

Appendix E

Methods for Estimating the Adequacy of Hearing Protector

Attenuation

I. For employees who have experienced a standard threshold shift, hearing protector attenuation must be sufficient to reduce employee exposure to a TWA of 85 dB. Employers must select one of the following methods by which to estimate the adequacy of hearing protection attenuation.

II. The most convenient method is the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to EPA regulation, the NRR must be shown on the hearing protector package. The NRR is then related to an individual worker's noise environment in order to assess the adequacy of the attenuation of a given hearing protector. This Appendix describes four methods of using the NRR to determine whether a particular hearing protector provides adequate protection within a given exposure environment. Selection among the four procedures is dependent upon the employer's noise measuring instruments.

III. Instead of using the NRR, employers may evaluate the adequacy of hearing protector attenuation by using one of the three methods developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which are described in the "List of Personal Hearing Protectors and Attenuation Data," HEW Publication No. 76-120, 1975, pages 21-37. These methods are known as NIOSH methods #1, #2 and #3. The NRR described below is a simplification of NIOSH method #2. The most complex method is NIOSH method #1, which is probably the most accurate method since it uses the largest amount of spectral information from the individual employee's noise environment. As in the case of the NRR method described below, if one of the NIOSH methods is used, the selected method must be applied to an individual's noise environment to assess the adequacy of the attenuation. Employers should be careful to take a sufficient number of measurements in order to achieve a representative sample for each time segment. Note: The employer must remember that calculated attenuation values reflect realistic values only to the extent that the protectors are properly fitted and worn.

IV. When using the NRR to assess hearing protector adequacy, one of the following methods must be used:

(a) When using a dosimeter that is capable of C-weighted measurements:

(1) Obtain the employee's C-weighted dose for the entire workshift, and convert to TWA (see Appendix A).

(2) Subtract the NRR from the C-weighted TWA to obtain the estimated A-weighted TWA under the ear protector.

(b) When using a dosimeter that is not capable of C-weighted measurements, the following method may be used:

(1) Convert the A-weighted dose to TWA (see Appendix A).

(2) Subtract 7 dB from the NRR.

(3) Subtract the remainder from the A-weighted TWA to obtain the estimated A-weighted TWA under the ear protector.

(c) When using a sound level meter set to the A-weighting network:

(1) Obtain the employee's A-weighted TWA.

(2) Subtract 7 dB from the NRR, and subtract the remainder from the A-weighted TWA to obtain the estimated A-weighted TWA under the ear protector.

(d) When using a sound level meter set on the C-weighting network:

(1) Obtain a representative sample of the C-weighted sound levels in the employee's environment.

(2) Subtract the NRR from the C-weighted average sound level to obtain the estimated A-weighted TWA under the ear protector.

Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

History

1. Amendment filed 10-3-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 41).

Appendix F

Determination and Application of Age Corrections to Audiograms

As permitted by Section 5097(d)(9), increases in an employee's hearing thresholds, as evidenced by an audiogram taken subsequent to a baseline audiogram, may be adjusted (lowered) for presbycusis (hearing loss due to aging). The applicable correction values at various ages and sound frequencies are included in Table F. If the employer chooses to adjust an employee's audiogram pursuant to Section 5097(d)(9), the employer shall follow the procedure described below.

(a) Obtain from Table F the age correction values at each audiometric test frequency of interest (the hearing losses at 2000, 3000, and 4000Hz are relevant to the determination of whether a standard threshold shift, as defined by Section 5097(d)(8), may exist) for the employee by:

(1) Finding the age at which the most recent audiogram was taken and recording the corresponding age correction values; and

(2) Finding the age at which the baseline audiogram was taken and recording the corresponding age correction values.

(b) Subtract the values found in (a)(2) from those found in (a)(1). (The remainders from these subtractions represent the values (in decibels) which may be attributed to aging and are the values by which the most recent audiogram may be adjusted at the respective audiometric test frequencies.)

(c) Subtract the values found in (b) from the hearing threshold values of the most recent audiogram.

When the adjustment of an audiogram for hearing loss due to aging is performed for the purpose of determining whether a standard threshold shift has occurred, the above-described calculations may be restricted to the 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz frequencies. If the average of the hearing threshold values at 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz found in step (c), above, is equal to or greater than 10, then the employee has exhibited a standard threshold shift, and the employer must comply with various provisions of Section 5097(d) as well as certain other requirements such as Sections 5098(a)(2)(B)2 and (b)(3).

Table F.  Age Correction Values in Decibels for Males (M) and Females (F)

				Audiometric Test Frequencies (Hz)
Age		1000		2000		3000		4000		6000
		M	F	M	F	M	F	M	F	M	F
20 or Younger	5	7	3	4	4	3	5	3	8	6
21		5	7	3	4	4	4	5	3	8	6
22		5	7	3	4	4	4	5	4	8	6
23		5	7	3	5	4	4	6	4	9	7
24		5	7	3	5	5	4	6	4	9	7
25		5	8	3	5	5	4	7	4	10	7
26		5	8	4	5	5	5	7	4	10	8
27		5	8	4	5	6	5	7	5	11	8
28		6	8	4	5	6	5	8	5	11	8
29		6	8	4	5	6	5	8	5	12	9
30		6	8	4	6	6	5	9	5	12	9
31		6	8	4	6	7	6	9	5	13	9
32		6	9	5	6	7	6	10	6	14	10
33		6	9	5	6	7	6	10	6	14	10
34		6	9	5	6	8	6	11	6	15	10
35		7	9	5	6	8	7	11	7	15	11
36		7	9	5	7	9	7	12	7	16	11
37		7	9	6	7	9	7	12	7	17	12
38		7	10	6	7	9	7	13	7	17	12
39		7	10	6	7	10	8	14	8	18	12
40		7	10	6	7	10	8	14	8	19	13
41		7	10	6	8	10	8	14	8	20	13
42		8	10	7	8	11	9	16	9	20	13
43		8	11	7	8	12	9	16	9	21	14
44		8	11	7	8	12	9	17	9	22	14
45		8	11	7	8	13	10	18	10	23	15
46		8	11	8	9	13	10	19	10	24	15
47		8	11	8	9	14	10	19	11	24	16
48		9	12	8	9	14	11	20	11	25	16
49		9	12	9	9	15	11	21	11	26	16
50		9	12	9	10	16	11	22	12	27	17
51		9	12	9	10	16	12	23	12	28	17
52		9	12	10	10	17	12	24	13	29	18
53		9	13	10	10	18	13	25	13	30	18
54		10	13	10	11	18	13	26	14	31	19
55		10	13	11	11	19	14	27	14	32	19
56		10	13	11	11	20	14	28	15	34	20
57		10	13	11	11	21	15	29	15	35	20
58		10	14	12	12	22	15	31	16	36	21
59		11	14	12	12	22	16	32	16	37	21
60 or Older	11	14	13	12	23	16	33	17	38	22
Note: Authority and reference cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code.

History

1. New Appendix F filed 10-3-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 41).