Hearing Loss Prevention Program

Originator: Safety and Health Services
Approver: Director of Safety and Health Services, WSH Advisory Committee, WSH Committees
Effective: October 24, 2019
Last Reviewed: Replaces E8 – Hearing Conservation and Noise Control

1.0 Guiding Principles

1.1

Red River College (RRC) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its staff, students, volunteers and users. Following the Hearing Loss Prevention Program (HLPP) Code of Practice ensures that all aspects of the HLPP are implemented to control noise through engineering controls, administrative controls and then Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

1.2

This Codes of Practice is designed to meet or exceed the minimum requirements of Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) legislation.

2.0 Definitions (if required)

2.1

Administrative Controls: Changes in the work schedule or operation that reduces the workers noise exposure by limiting the amount of time that a worker is exposed to noise.

2.2

Attenuation: The reduction in sound pressure on the ear due to the use of a hearing protection device.

2.3

Audiometer: Electronic device used to perform audiometric testing.

2.4

Audiometric Technician: A person who conducts audiometric testing and has successfully completed a training course, as outlined in CSA Z107.6 and can demonstrate competency.

2.5

Audiometric Test: A hearing test that measures how well a worker hears sounds at different frequencies and pitches. Employers are required to provide audiometric tests for workers exposed to noise levels at or above 85 dBA (Lex). Audiometric testing occurs as a baseline and then every 2 years after.

2.6

Baseline Audiometric Testing: Initial audiometric testing performed by an Audiometric Technician using an audiometer for which all subsequent audiometric testing are compared. A baseline audiogram must be completed within 6 months of hire.  Baseline audiograms should be conducted after a period away from noise (12-14h), typically before the work shift.

2.7

Contractor: A person, who, pursuant to one or more contracts, directs the activities of one or more employers or self-employed persons involved in work at a workplace that is owned or occupied by the College.

2.8

Decibel (dBA): A unit of measure expressing the relative intensity of sound.

2.9

Double (Dual) Protection: For sound exposure levels in excess of 105 dBA (Lex), a single hearing protection device will not suffice to reduce the exposure level below the recommended limit of 85 dBA lex. Dual protection will be implemented for any area 105 dBA (Lex) or higher. Dual protection includes an earplug in combination with earmuffs.

2.10

Employer:

2.10.1

Every person who, by himself or his agent or representative employs or engages one or more workers,

2.10.2

and The Crown and every agency of the government.

2.11

Engineering Controls: Solutions that address the noise at the source, such as substitution of equipment, installing mufflers or noise dampening devices, and enclosure of noise generating equipment.

2.12

Hearing Conservation Report: A summary of the number of workers who had baseline audiometric testing performed and the number of workers who had on-going audiometric testing conducted at the workplace as required by the HLPP. The report also includes the number of abnormal baseline audiograms.

2.13

Hearing Loss Prevention Program (HLPP): A program implemented to prevent occupational induced hearing loss. The program includes noise exposure assessments, eliminating sources of hazardous noise, employing engineering and or administrative controls, hazard communication, education, hearing protection devices, audiometric testing, record keeping and program review.

2.14

Hearing Loss Program Administrator: Manages all aspects of the HLPP and ensures its effectiveness. The administrator is the Safety Health Officer in Safety & Health Services.

2.15

Hearing Protection Devices: A device that can be worn to reduce the level of sound entering the ear. Hearing protection devices must meet CSA standard Z94.2.02 and will be made available to anyone exposed to 80 dBA or above. Hearing aids are not designed to be hearing protection devices and do not provide sufficient attenuation for noise exposure. Refer to Appendix B for hearing protection device requirements for use.

2.16

dBA (Lex): Level of workers total exposure to noise averaged over the entire workday.

2.17

Noise Dosimeter: An instrument that measures the decibel level of noise and exposure time to show the amount of noise energy you are exposed to in the workplace, averaged over the entire workday.

2.18

Noise Exposure Assessment: An evaluation of the sound pressure level of noise and the length of time a worker is exposed to it. Assessments are conducted according to CSA standard Z107.56-13 Measurement of Noise Exposure.

2.19

Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL): Hearing loss caused by exposure to high levels of noise.

2.20

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Refers to any equipment and/or clothing used by an individual to minimize exposure to a specific occupational hazard. PPE is used when a hazard itself cannot be removed or controlled adequately. PPE does not eliminate or reduce the hazard, nor does it guarantee total protection. PPE may include items such as gloves, safety glasses, shoes, hearing protection devices, hard hats, respirators, coveralls, vests and full body suits. Refer to PPE Code of Practice (SHS-1) for more information.

2.21

Safety & Health Services (SHS): A mandated department responsible for providing a safe environment for staff, students and visitors. SHS works in conjunction with Academic programs, Facility Maintenance, Security Services and the Workplace Safety and Health Committee.

2.22

Safe Work Procedure (SWP): A step-by-step procedure that states how to perform a job safely and how to respond to a safety risk in an appropriate manner.

2.23

Supervisor: Means a person who has charge of a workplace or authority over a worker (Ex. Chair, Manager, Instructor, Director, etc).

2.24

Worker: Any person who is in an employment relationship with the College and includes:

2.24.1

Any person who is employed by the college to perform a service whether for gain or reward or not,

2.24.2

Volunteers,

2.24.3

Students.

2.25

Workplace Safety and Health Committee (WSHC): An established group consisting of both management and worker representation committed to improving safety and health conditions and acting as a resource among the Red River College Community.

3.0 Requirements and Considerations (if required)

3.1

Exposures will be reduced by implementing controls in the following order:

3.1.1

Engineering Controls: Solutions that control noise at the source, such as equipment substitution, installing mufflers of noise dampening devices and enclosure of noise-generating equipment.

3.1.2

Administrative controls: Strategies that reduce the workers exposure, such as limiting the length of time a worker is exposed to noise or alternating workers doing noisy jobs.

3.1.3

Personal protective equipment: Devices such as hearing protection devices which are used in conjunction with engineering and administrative controls. Refer to Appendix A for when hearing protective devices are recommended or mandatory.

3.1.4

When noise sources are operating, workers entering or working high designated hazardous noise areas must wear their HPD’s regardless of exposure time.

3.1.5

Any disputes concerning PPE shall be reported to a Supervisor or to SHS for proper resolution. In resolving disputes the WSH Regulation, RRC Policies and Codes of Practice will be consulted.

3.2

Noise exposure assessments must be completed when:

3.2.1

A worker is suspected of being exposed to noise levels in excess of 80 dBA (Lex).

3.2.2

There is an alteration, renovation, repair or construction project (which may involve RRC staff) that is suspected to alter noise levels.

3.2.3

New equipment is introduced that may change the noise levels.

3.2.4

There is a change to the work process that may increase noise levels and or.

3.2.5

A worker provides evidence of an NIHL that may be attributed to the workplace.

3.3

Whenever possible engineering controls should be used to reduce noise exposures.

3.4

Hearing protection devices with direct music (connected to devices such as an iPhone) are not permitted for use at RRC.

4.0 Procedure (if required)

4.1

If the noise exposure level is between 80 dBA and 85 dBA (Lex), the employer must:

4.1.1

Perform periodic noise exposure assessments.

4.1.2

Inform the workers of the results of noise exposure assessments as per CSA Z107-56- 06.

4.1.3

Provide training to workers about the hazards of the noise levels they are likely to experience.

4.1.4

Provide the workers with hearing protection devices if requested. Refer to Appendix B for hearing protection device usage requirements.

4.1.5

Provide training on the selection, use and care of hearing protection devices.

4.1.6

Post signage on entrances to area. Refer to Appendix D.

4.2

If the noise exposure level is over 85 dBA Lex, the employer must implement a Hearing Loss Prevention Program which includes:

4.2.1

Implementing all measures taken for levels between 80-85 dBA (Lex).

4.2.2

Sound control measures to reduce levels below 85 dBA (Lex) where practical.

4.2.3

Providing workers with hearing protection devices that reduces the exposure level to below 85 dBA (Lex).

4.2.4

Post signage on entrances to area. Refer to Appendix E.

4.2.5

Providing HLPP training.

4.2.6

Providing workers with audiometric testing. Refer to Appendices B and C for baseline and ongoing audiometric testing processes.

4.2.7

Providing the workers with an on-going audiometric testing at least every two years.

4.2.8

Providing workers mandatory hearing protection devices.

4.2.9

Submitting an annual hearing conservation report to WSH.

4.3

Staff and students who fail to comply with the WSH Act and its WSH Regulation, RRC Policies, Codes of Practice and Safe Work Procedures, shall be denied access to the work area, shop or laboratory.

4.4

For staff, violation of the WSH Act and its WSH Regulation, RRC Policies, Codes of Practice and Safe Work Procedures, shall result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

4.5

For RRC students, violation of the WSH Act and its WSH Regulation, RRC Policies, Codes of Practice and Safe Work Procedures, shall result in disciplinary action in accordance with College Policy S2 – Student Discipline.

5.0 Responsibilities (if required)

5.1

Departments or Programs will:

5.1.1

Take all precaution necessary to protect the safety and health of a worker under his or her supervision.

5.1.2

Ensure that a worker or student under their supervision, follows RRC Policies, SHS Codes of Practice, Safe Work Procedures, and Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulations.

5.1.3

Ensure that a worker under their supervision uses all devices and wears all clothing and PPE designated or provided by the employer.

5.1.4

Contact SHS for noise level exposure assessments when workers are suspected of being exposed to high noise levels.

5.1.5

Make all attempts to purchase equipment so that the area noise level does not exceed 85 dBA (Lex), and where practical, use engineering controls or other modifications to either eliminate or reduce the noise level.

5.1.6

Provide hearing protection devices when required. Refer to Appendix B.

5.1.7

Work with SHS to schedule workers for audiometric testing when required.

5.1.8

Recognize that noise may be a hazardous by-product of their operation. Departments must be willing to explore engineering controls or other modifications that can reduce noise levels at the source.

5.2

Supervisors will:

5.2.1

Take all precaution necessary to protect the safety and health of a worker under his or her supervision.

5.2.2

Ensure that a worker or student under their supervision, follows RRC Policies, SHS Codes of Practice, Safe Work Procedures, and Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulations.

5.2.3

Ensure that a worker under their supervision uses all devices and wears all clothing and PPE designated or provided by the employer.

5.2.4

Contact SHS for noise level exposure assessments workers are suspected of being exposed to high noise levels.

5.2.5

Provide hearing protection devices that complies with CSA standard Z94.2-14 when required. Refer to Appendix B.

5.2.6

Work with SHS to schedule workers for audiometric testing.

5.2.7

Ensure workers attend HLPP training on an annual basis.

5.2.8

Inform SHS when a significant physical alteration, renovation, or repair to an existing workplace or a work process or any significant equipment is introduced to the workplace that may alter noise levels in the area.

5.2.9

Make all attempts to purchase equipment so that the continuous noise level generated is not more than 85 dBA (Lex).

5.2.10

Recognize that noise may be a hazardous by-product of their operation. They must be willing to explore engineering controls or other modifications that can reduce noise at the source.

5.2.11

Post warning signs (when required) indicating that any person entering the area risks exposure to noise levels that may be harmful to ones hearing. Refer to Appendix D and E.

5.2.12

Include hearing protection devices requirements in SWP’s.

5.2.13

Share results of noise exposure assessments with all workers.

5.3

Worker/Student will:

5.3.1

Follow RRC Policies, Codes of Practice and Safe Work Procedures.

5.3.2

Participate in the collection of noise exposure levels in their area. Monitoring equipment will be worn in a way as to not alter the results.

5.3.3

Attend HLPP training on an annual basis when required.

5.3.4

Attend audiometric training when required.

5.3.5

Wear hearing protection devices when required.

5.3.6

Properly care for and use hearing protection devices.

5.4

Workplace Safety and Health Committee will:

5.4.1

Perform workplace inspections and document any discrepancies with hearing protection device usage, signage, etc.

5.4.2

Review and provide feedback on department specific Codes of Practice.

5.5

Safety & Health Services will:

5.5.1

Conduct noise exposure assessments of potential high noise areas as brought forth by workers, students, supervisors, or through SHS observations.

5.5.2

Maintain a list of all high-risk noise areas.

5.5.3

Coordinate audiometric testing in consultation with supervisors.

5.5.4

Maintain confidential audiometric records in the employee’s confidential Health file in Health Services Department.

5.5.5

Ensure that employees receive HLPP training and audiometric testing when required.

5.5.6

Prepare a hearing conservation report and submit to the WSH Division.

5.5.7

Prepare a summary report of audiometric testing for the departmental supervisor.

5.5.8

Discuss results of audiometric tests with workers when required.

5.5.9

Ensure that the noise dosimeters are calibrated on an annual basis and maintain all calibration records.

5.5.10

Ensure the proper placement of the noise dosimeter to obtain accurate noise level exposures for departments.

5.5.11

Collect, interpret and summarize results obtained from the noise exposure assessment. Departments will be provided with a copy of results as well as recommendations.

5.5.12

Provide advice on the proper selection of hearing protection devices for the department.

5.5.13

Provide HLPP training.

5.5.14

Review the HLPP on an annual basis to ensure that all aspects of the program are successfully met.

5.5.15

Noise exposure assessments and audiometric test results will be retained by SHS for a period of 30 years.

5.6

Contractor will:

5.6.1

Wear all required hearing protection devices as required based on the type of construction/repair/maintenance being conducted.

5.6.2

Comply with all RRC Policies, SHS Codes of Practice, and Workplace Safety and Health Act and Regulations.

6.0 References (if required)

6.1

Government of Manitoba – (2016) The Workplace Safety and Health Act – W210.

6.2

Government of Manitoba – (2016) The Workplace Safety and Health Regulation – 217/2016. Part 12

6.3

CSA standards Association – Z1007-16 Hearing Loss Prevention Program (HLPP) Management

6.4

CSA Standards Association – Z94.2-14 – Hearing Protection Devices – Performance, Selection, Care and Use.

6.5

CSA Standards Association – Z107-56-06 Procedures for the measurement of Occupational Noise Exposure.

6.6

Safe Work Manitoba – Hearing Conservation and Noise Control.

6.7

Red River College’s Safety Policy – E1.

6.8

Red River College Personal Protective Equipment Code of Practice SHS-1.

Appendices