Manufacturers awarded for efforts to protect workers' hearing
The awards come from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Hearing Conservation Association. They honor organizations that "have shown dedication to excellence in hearing loss prevention practices in the work environment and beyond," according a statement announcing the winners.
Award for Excellence. Vulcan Materials Company, a major producer of construction aggregates such as crushed stone, sand, and gravel, was recognized for its commitment and implementation of a quality data-driven hearing loss prevention program that goes beyond regulatory compliance.
The company was also noted for its advancements in noise monitoring strategies for mobile workers. "Integrating sophisticated technologies such as GPS and video into their noise measurement protocols" helps protect the hearing of the company's mobile workforce, according to the statement.
Noise risks are prioritized and addressed systematically. Prompt reporting, high-quality data, detailed analysis, progress tracking, and outcome assessments are key to the program's success.
The Johns Manville Company was cited for its innovative use of metrics to track noise exposure levels. The Berkshire Hathaway company manufactures building insulation, commercial roofing, roofing insulation, and specialty products for commercial, industrial, and resident application.
The JM hearing conservation pyramid incorporates both leading and lagging indicators of hearing conservation program effectiveness. Rather than relying solely on the traditional significant threshold shift metric and OSHA recordable hearing loss cases, the company has integrated three other metrics:
- An early audiometric notch index.
- Hearing protector personal attenuation ratings.
- Noise level index designed to track noise exposure levels weighted by full-time employees.
"The pyramid approach initiated noise control engineering training which resulted in the completion of successful noise control projects and stimulated resource sharing between plants," according to the statement. "The data-driven approach has demonstrated practical implementation in the short term and will provide long term program monitoring and advocacy."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
April 15, 2013
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