WPI Hearing Conservation Program

The purpose of the WPI Hearing Conservation Program (HCP) is to identify those areas where noise can be controlled, and control it: and to identify those areas where noise cannot be controlled, and take steps to protect the hearing of those persons who must work in those areas.

Office Location: Facilities Building - 37 Lee Street

The HCP includes the following:

  1. Identification of high noise areas. Noise sampling will be done once every two years or any time there is a change in equipment or process that may affect noise levels. General sampling shall be performed with a sound level meter. Where problem areas are suspected or where noise levels change frequently, personal dosimetry will be performed as needed.
  2. Requirements for sound level output will be incorporated into specifications and design for new equipment so that such equipment, when in place, will not exceed 85db or contribute greatly to the noise level in the chosen area.
  3. Based on the results of sound level measurement, it will be determined what areas will be selected for noise reduction through engineering or acoustical means, and where technically and economically feasible, such noise control procedures will be instituted. Dosimetry will be performed once all procedures are complete to ensure that the levels in the area meet specifications.

A hearing conservation program is instituted for all employees at risk of exposure to sound levels exceeding 85db. This hearing conservation program includes:

  1. Procedures and record keeping supervised by a certified audiologist.
  2. Periodic audiometric examination consisting of:
    • A baseline audiogram will be obtained for all employees exposed to sound levels greater than 85db.
    • The above mentioned employees will be given annual audiometric re-evaluation to determine “standard threshold shift” from baseline. These audiograms shall be reviewed by an audiologist, and recommendations made and followed. Any employee demonstrating a “standard threshold shift” of 10 db from baseline will be notified in writing within 21 days of this determination. Any employee with a change of 25 db from baseline will be identified and entered on the OSHA 300 log.
    • Hearing protector use will be required for all employees who work in areas with noise levels greater than 85 db. Hearing protectors shall be evaluated to ensure that the attenuation afforded is sufficient for the noise level of each employee. The employee shall be counseled in fit and use of the hearing protectors and monitored by supervisors. A choice of at least two types of protective hearing devices will be made available to employees at no charge.
  3. Education Program - every employee at risk of exposure to noise levels greater than 85 db will be educated in the following manner:
    • At the time of employment, the employee will receive a copy of the WPI HCP and be given the opportunity to have questions answered. Appropriate hearing protection will be issued and its care and use explained. It will also be explained that participation in the audiometric testing/HCP is a condition of employment.
    • The employee will be informed of the noise level in the area in which he or she is working.
Exposure Limits: Duration per day (hours): Sound level in db:
8 90
6 92
4 95
3 97
2 100
1 105
½ 110
¼ 115

  • Employees will participate in an annual education program which will make use of all available training materials, and will include an opportunity for employees to ask questions.
  • A disciplinary program will consist of one verbal warning, one written warning, three days off without pay and the final step - termination, will be put into effect immediately.
  • Evaluation of performance of supervisors will include their effectiveness in enforcing this program.

It is the policy of WPI to approach its HCP as other safety programs. The primary goal is of this program is the prevention of hearing loss. Other goals include compliance with OSHA guidelines and limitation of worker’s compensation liability. It is top management’s position that the HCP will be supported and enforced by all levels of management at WPI.

Administration of the WPI HCP will be the responsibility of the Environmental and Occupational Safety Office of the Plant Services Department.

Origination date: April, 1997

Revised date: October, 2003