NOISE ENGINEERING DESIGN
When hearing protection and administrative controls cannot be employed to reduce noise exposures, EI’s engineering team assists our industrial clients in the identification and design of noise engineering controls. Engineering controls for excessive noise can be developed for isolated pieces of manufacturing equipment or entire industrial process lines. Initial steps require performing sounds level facility surveys and personnel noise dosimeter monitoring of manufacturing personnel by experienced industrial hygienists. Noise monitoring results are utilized to determine specific sources of excessive noise, as well as the mechanism of sound generation/propagation emitted by the excessive noise source. Multiple sources of noise will subsequently be “rank ordered”, which will allow for a range of possible engineering controls, typically addressing the loudest sound sources first. EI’s professionals segregate excessive noise sources into two distinct classes, vibrational noise and noise turbulence.
Once all specific noise sources are identified, EI utilizes the following logical approach to determine the optimal systems to reduce/control excessive noise:
- Substitution of equipment (fundamental first step)
- Categorization of source into vibrational noise and turbulence-based noise
- Reduction of driving forces which cause excessive noise
a. Decreasing machine speed
b. Maintaining dynamic balance
c. Provide vibrational isolation
d. Increasing impact duration, while reducing the force of impact
- Reduce response of vibrating surfaces
- Reduce area of vibrating surfaces
- Reorienting directional noise sources
- Reduction in velocity of fluid flow (air ejection systems, valves, vents and piping)
- Provide sound absorption alternatives
- Design and installation of equipment and personnel noise enclosures
Let EI’s team of industrial hygienists and engineers work collaboratively to identify and provide cost-effective engineering solutions aimed at reducing exposure of your workforce to excessive noise.
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EI’s commitment to service has been amply demonstrated on past projects. Yet again, this commitment has been clearly demonstrated by nimble agility of short notice staff scheduling. The dedicated professionals of The EI Group have exceeded our expectations.
Across the country this week, temperatures are forecasted to reach record highs in many areas. Heat stress may be thought of as a summertime safety issue; however, it is present indoors year-round due to environmental ambient conditions caused by heat sources from process equipment in certain industries.
Phase Is are conducted per ASTM E 1527-13 and include several major components: a site reconnaissance, completion of a User Questionnaire, a regulatory database search, interviews with persons knowledgeable of the property, and a review of reasonably ascertainable and readily available historical sources to identify the use of the property back to 1940 or its first developed use, whichever is earlier. As such, the ASTM E 1527-13 Standard Practice provides specific guidance as to what must be addressed. However, there is no ASTM standard for Desktop Reviews (more commonly called Risk Search with Risk Assessments-RSRAs). Therefore, RSRAs differ from consultant to consultant and also do not provide protection on CERCLA.
With the onset of pollen season, what better time to discuss indoor air quality? As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality (IAQ) is the air quality, specifically as it relates to the health and comfort of occupants, within and around buildings and structures. COVID-19 has increased the population’s general awareness and importance of IAQ as well as the transmission of infectious diseases. The EPA recently released a Clean Air in Buildings Challenge as part of the Federal government’s new IAQ initiative, which happens to also be a facet of the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for workers, with over 600 workers dying annually and almost 50,000 injured each year due to falls from elevation. All these deaths and injuries are preventable.
Given Lockout/Tagout’s established place on OSHA’s annual Top Ten Most Cited Violations list, it is not surprising that I spend a lot of time as an EHS consultant responding to clients’ questions regarding the control of hazardous energy. Regardless of industry or perceived corporate success, the majority of facilities nationwide struggle to effectively address the hazards associated with servicing, maintenance and other activities that require employees to bypass safety devices and reach their hands into machines.
The year was 1971. It was second ever Earth Day and it was spring, which meant baseball season. Fighting for the starting catcher job on my high school team, I was scheduled to start later on that afternoon. A couple of friends and I figured to celebrate Earth Day, we’d walk to school. Stopping at a friend’s house along the way, we reached the school campus an hour or two late. Of course, we had to sign in at the front office and receive a late pass, which required each teacher’s signature indicating we were in class; so, there was a record.
When considering environmental due diligence, one must consider the environmental conditions of the property in question (herein the subject property) and adjoining and nearby properties that might impact the subject property. This includes impacts to soils, surface waters, and groundwater from hazardous substances and/or petroleum products. When performing environmental due diligence (mostly likely a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment [Phase I]) one must look at potential sources of contamination from not only the subject property, but also from adjoining and nearby properties. So the actions of your neighbors might affect the value of your property, the perceived value of your property, the ability for you (the owner) to sell the property, the ability of a bank to foreclose on a property, plans for redevelopment of the subject property, and restrictions on the use of the subject property.
This week, April 3rd through the 9th, marks the annual Occupational Health Nurses Week (OHN) Week. This national observance serves to recognize and celebrate members of the occupational and environmental health nursing profession. Soon I will be coming up on my fourth decade as a medical professional. Throughout my career, I have worn many hats, but no hat have I enjoyed donning more than that of an “Occupational Health Nurse.” This profession has been enriching, rewarding and fun…and continues to be so.
Have you ever come across a situation where the property owner provides a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (Phase II), which indicates the property is “clean.” You contact your bank and your loan officer indicates you still need a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I). You are confused and after you hang up the phone, you are still unclear why you need to have the added cost of a Phase I.
Happy Global Recycling Day! Today marks the 4th official recognized “Global Recycling Day.” Originally started in 2018; this day was chosen by Ranjit Baxi, President of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), to bring awareness to sustainability through recycling on a global scale. With a rise in the focus on climate change and the effects we all have on our environment; Mr. Baxi designated this day to encourage individuals and nations alike to view recyclable materials differently and promote immediate action.