Projects - Electrical trades
Noise Exposures in Electrical Trades
Noise dosimetry was used to assess the exposure levels of electricians working for a major electrical subcontractor. Five sites that used four construction methods were visited. Electricians documented activity and environmental data throughout their work shifts, resulting in an activity/exposure record for each of the 174 samples collected. More than 24% of the 174 full-shift exposure samples exceeded the current Washington state (WISHA) permissible exposure level (PEL) of 85 dBA; 5.2% exceeded the federal OSHA PEL of 90 dBA. When measured with a NIOSH exposure metric, 67.8% exceeded 85 dBA and 27% exceeded 90 dBA. The WISHA maximum instantaneous exposure level of 140 dBA was exceeded in 99.4% of samples. Pneumatic power tools, powder-actuated tools, and the hand hammer resulted in the highest exposures among tools used by electricians. Results of the study indicate electricians are at risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss, their exposures are affected by adjacent activity, and engineering controls can reduce exposure levels.
Seixas NS, Ren K, Neitzel R, Camp J, Yost M. Noise exposure among construction electricians. AIHAJ. 2001 Sep-Oct;62(5):615-21