Unanalyzed Job Activity Results in Worker Noise Exposure

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Consolidated Nuclear Security - CNS - Bechtel, Leidos, Orbital ATK SOC Booz Allen Hamilton (Various Locations), Oak Ridge, TN (Consolidated Nuclear Security - CNS - Y12 National Security Complex)

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Occupational Safety and Health, Operations, Work Management/Planning

During noise monitoring, a chemical operator performed an undocumented job activity of striking the exterior surface of a metal hopper with a rubber mallet to cause lodged material to drop into the connected canister. The 8-hour Time-Weighted Average (TWA) exceeded the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists 8-hour TWA Threshold Limit Value for noise. The activity that produced the high noise level was considered "skill of the craft", so it was not included in the procedure nor was it identified and analyzed in the job hazard analysis (JHA) for the associated production process.

All noise-producing activities above 8-hour TWA limits and potentially exposed workers need to be recognized and identified so that exposure can be eliminated or controlled by the application of engineering controls or appropriate personal protective equipment (hearing protection).

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