Health & Safety Project

Creative Approach to Noise Assessment Leads to Substantial Cost Savings for International Logistics Company

Various Locations

Solution Overview

Client:

  • One of the largest logistics and shipping companies in the United States.
  • Hundreds of shipping centers as well as larger distribution hubs throughout the US and Canada.
  • Roughly 20,000 full time employees and upwards of 40,000 contract employees during high season.

Business Challenge:

  • Avoid implementing a company-wide Hearing Conservation Program (HCP). Ambient levels were on the threshold of 85 dBA, or action limit, where an HCP would need to be implemented.
  • Perform assessments and deliver reports for fifteen sites across the US in less than one month.
  • Source isolation so that octave band analyses and subsequent engineering controls were effective.

Solution:

  • All assessments and reports delivered before project deadline.
  • Apex data allowed the client to utilize engineering controls to abate the hazard.

Results:

Direct and indirect cost savings were realized for avoidance of conformance to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s Hearing Conservation Program (29 CFR 1910.95).

Challenge

This logistics and shipping company wanted to take a creative approach to managing its hearing conservation program (HCP) to reduce noise impacts in its facilities and reduce the number of workers in its HCP.

Solution

The company contracted Apex to run a pilot study at one of its large distribution hubs, followed by a wide scale assessment at multiple facilities.

Task 1: Apex conducted octave band analyses at equipment sources when in operation. Analyses were conducted during isolation, when no employees/packages were being processed for greatest accuracy. Apex also conducted ambient total sound pressure levels for baseline. Ambient levels adjacent to equipment sources ranged from 81-87 dBA. Moreover, source measurements (at equipment) were identified in excess of 90 dBA with varying predominant octave bands (1,12.5 kHertz, etc.).

Task 2: Apex provided written reports summarizing recorded ambient levels and detailing total sound pressure levels and predominant frequencies. Recorded predominant bands were also detailed to assist in determining most appropriate type of noise control (high vs low frequency) for the equipment. Apex assisted the Director of Industrial Hygiene and the Engineering Department under aggressive reporting timelines to facilitate controls and minimize impacts to business.

Task 3: Apex recorded total ambient sound pressure levels and source 1/3 octave bands post engineering controls to ensure effectiveness of instituted controls for select site.

Results

The company realized substantial cost savings associated with eliminating the noise hazards via engineering controls. Costs associated with elimination of training and program implementation, and reduction of future risk related to cases of occupational hearing loss.

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