An NV5 Certified Industrial Hygienist supported sound level monitoring at an automotive parts manufacturing plant in Washington State. The client requested our expertise to help ensure its facility’s compliance with the state’s regulation on hearing loss prevention (WAC 296-817).
After conducting a site walk-down with the client, we determined the appropriate number of noise level samples to be obtained, provided the necessary equipment and software, and provided guidance on proper equipment set up and usage, monitoring technique (dosimetry vs. sound level measurements), and required documentation. Per client request, the data collection was performed by their in-house Environment, Safety & Health personnel. NV5 then analyzed the data provided by the client, interpreted the results, and wrote a report with recommendations for improved hearing conservation safety. For example, we recommended they engage an acoustical engineer to lower the total noise within the facility.
The areas to be characterized at this facility were quite diverse. The main production line areas were very compact, with many different pieces of machinery operating simultaneously. The facility’s laboratory area was more open, with a limited number of machines operating at various times. Many of the process line personnel rotated through different work stations and had varying shift lengths. Additionally, because the facility operated 24/7, the sampling plan needed to account for the monitoring of all shifts.