A large sized Tier 1 automotive manufacturing organization wanted to assess their facility for noise levels and to identify high-risk occupations. EKG Inc. was contracted to perform this noise assessment.
Our initial process was to conduct a facility wide noise mapping to determine the noise levels throughout the various departments. Areas with the highest noise levels identified occupations for personal noise dosimetry. EKG Inc. provided a time-based history graph for each worker assessed, and significant noise periods investigated and connected to specific events or actions that occurred. Several excessive noise sources were identified, which led additional testing of these sources.
The investigation yielded a wide variety of causes for the excessive noise, ranging from loose metal connections, high-pressure air leaks, and a PA speaker.
Sources identified as being the cause of elevated noise levels were further assessed using SLM with Octave band filters to determine the predominant frequency bands and their impact on both the overall results and workers hearing ranges (with an emphasis on the 1K-4K range). Following the noise assessment, the facility corrected many of the causes and performed follow up monitoring showed reduced TWA exposure and peak noise exposure values for several occupations.
EKG Inc. also assessed the effectiveness of the facilities chosen hearing protection and identified that the devices were not as efficient as the plant resources believed. EKG Inc. recommended more suitable brands/models at a reduced pricing to aid the facility in better protecting their workers. As a value added service EKG Inc. developed a short video and visual factory placard outlining the correct method of installing the plugs into the ear canal, to ensure adequate fit.