Pollution levels are increasing with time globally. Noise pollution is particularly going up as more industries are coming up and automobiles increase on roads. There are levels of noise that can be detrimental to the hearing of an individual. When these levels exceed certain thresholds, they can impair a person’s hearing. Those who work in places such as furniture manufacturing firms and mines are at risk of losing their hearing. In this paper, I will discuss things your furniture manufacturing will consider about OSHA compliance matters.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards outline requirements that a company need to comply with in order to assure the welfare of their workers. The first thing to consider is the action level. This is the duration workers are exposed to noise, and is normally set at an 8-hour time-weighted average. If, and it is most probable that workers in the firm will be working on an 8-hour system, there should be compliance with OSHA standards. OSHA directs that such employees be provided with hearing protectors. Hearing protectors serve to reduce the strength of noise (Plog & Quinlan, 2012).
OSHA standards require basic training. This training is to help workers understand the reasons for, and the measures taken during hearing protection. Workers are taught how to use and maintain noise protectors. The training educates workers on the Hearing Conservation Program (HCP). The HCP is for those who work on the 8-hour time-weighted average or above. It addresses responsibilities of the different individuals towards hearing protection, monitoring of hearing protection program and administration of audiometric tests (Plog & Quinlan, 2012).
Sound level within the furniture manufacturing premises is another crucial element. The equipment used in the premises will make noise. Noise level is calculated using the octave band analysis. We measure noise in decibels (dB). It is crucial to seek hearing protection if noise levels at the work place exceed the standard A-scale level. Such is the magnitude beyond 85 - 90dB. This underscores the essence of personal protective equipment as hearing might not withstand such high sound magnitude for long (Plog & Quinlan, 2012).
The furniture manufacturing plant will need to consider the need for a hearing conservation program. An efficient hearing conservation program will focus on how supervisors of different departments will help monitor noise levels in their stations. Supervisors will ensure that the workers under them uphold measures of hearing protection. They can help signal workers when they get exposed to noise going beyond 85-90dB. The program should allow health and safety workers to coordinate audiometric testing. Testing should be done regularly. A good hearing conservation program will create room for monitoring. Monitoring is critical in assessing the impact of hearing protection measures taken I the premises and identifying where the program needs changes (Plog & Quinlan, 2012).
Control is emphasized in OSHA compliance measures. There are two levels on control that OSHA recognizes; administrative and engineering controls. Administrative controls are the decisions employers can make towards securing workers welfare. Such alternatives include work shifts so that workers can have periodic breaks and leave from work. Employers can decide to move employees to different departments in the work place. Engineering controls include all measures of dealing with the sources of noise. This can involve removing faulty equipment that could be causing unnecessary noise. Some of the equipment are too noisy and may need measures of reducing the noise they produce. There are sound-proof gadgets that can be installed to absorb noise (Plog & Quinlan, 2012).
There is personal protective equipment that the plant can consider. Earmuffs are worn like helmets, and they help cover the ears. Earplugs are gadgets that are similar to earphones. They help protect the ear canal from the impact of loud noise. Personal protective equipment differs in their noise reduction rating (NRR). The NRR of equipment is their strength to reduce the impact of noise. Health and safety workers can help workers select personal protective equipment that suits them best (Plog & Quinlan, 2012).