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Naval Safety Supervisor - Military manual on safety practices
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Hearing Tests/Audiograms
5100.19B,   Navy  Occupational  Safety  and  Health Program  Manual  for  Forces  Afloat;  and  NAVMED P-5010-3,   Manual   of   Naval   Preventive   Medicine, chapter 3, “Ventilation and Thermal Stress Ashore and Afloat.” HEARING  CONSERVATION  PROGRAM The  Navy  recognizes  hearing  loss  as  an occupational  hazard  related  to  certain  trades.  For example, gunfire and rocket fire produce high-intensity impulse or blast noises that can cause hearing loss. Hearing   loss   can   result   from   the   continuous   or intermittent  noises  of  aircraft  and  marine  engines,  as well as industrial activities. The noise of saws, lathes, grinders,  forging  hammers,  or  internal  combustion engines also creates a hazard to your hearing. Hearing loss is a serious concern within the Navy. Action must be taken to reduce hearing loss attributed to  occupational  exposure.  Work-related  hearing  losses result in costly compensation claims. Hearing loss may also cause lower productivity and efficiency and may contribute   to   mishaps.   To   prevent   occupational, noise-related hearing loss, the Navy has developed the Hearing  Conservation  Program. Goals of the Hearing Conservation Program One  goal  of  the  Hearing  Conservation  Program  is to prevent occupational hearing loss among military and civilian workers. Another is to ensure personnel can hear well enough to perform their duties. The program elements used to achieve these goals are as follows: Surveying  all  work  environments  to  identify potentially  hazardous  noise  levels  and  personnel at risk Using  engineering  controls  (design  methods)  to limit  noise  exposure Requiring  periodic  hearing  tests Training personnel to protect their hearing when working in hazardous noise environments Ensuring  personnel  use  personal  protective equipment Education is vital to the overall success of a hearing conservation  program.  Make  sure  your  personnel receive instruction in and understand the rationale for the following elements of the Hearing Conservation Program: Proper wearing and maintenance of hearing- protective  devices  and  conditions  requiring  their use Command   program   and   personnel   respon- sibilities for off-duty practices to help protect hearing Encourage  your  personnel  to  use  hearing-protective devices  during  off-duty  activities  that  expose  them  to hazardous  noise  sources,  such  as  lawn  mowers,  chain saws, and firearms. All personnel exposed to gunfire during training or to artillery or missile firing under any circumstances must wear hearing-protective devices. Noise  Measurements To  control  hazardous  noise  exposure,  we  must accurately  determine  the  actual  noise  level  using standard procedures and compare these levels with accepted criteria. Noise measurements arc taken as part of  the  industrial  hygiene  survey  or  the  workplace monitoring program for the commands with periodic sampling  requirements. How  do  you  know  if  you  need  hearing  protection? Use the base-line thumb rule. Hearing protection is required when you must raise your voice to talk to a person who is one arm length away. Taking  noise  measurements  is  part  of  the  base-line or 18-month Industrial Hygiene Survey aboard ship. You need not take actual measurements during the follow-up  survey  unless  you  suspect  changes  in  noise levels  in  the  work  environment.  Keep  records  of  noise measurements until superseded by a later survey. Larger afloat  commands  may  establish  a  workplace  monitoring plan  to  conduct  periodic  sampling  throughout  the 18-month  cycle. Ashore,  noise  measurements  arc  taken  according  to the   workplace   monitoring   plan,   and   records   are maintained  for  40  years.  Resurveys  are  conducted within  30  days  of  any  significant  modifications  or changes  in  work  routine. Analyzing  Noise  Measurements Analyzing noise measurements to assess the hazard potential is a complex task. An industrial hygienist or some  other  qualified  person  under  the  industrial hygienist’s direction performs the analysis. The analysis determines  hazardous  noise  areas,  equipment,  and processes. 5-7

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