The UMD Hearing Conservation Program establishes the procedures to be followed to evaluate, control and monitor noise exposures. Requirements for training, hearing tests and hearing protection are established in this program.
Employees who are exposed to full shift (eight hour) average noise exposures more than 85 decibels must be enrolled into the Noise Exposure Medical Surveillance Program through the University Health Center - Occupational Health. Contact (301) 314-8199 to enroll into the program after excessive noise exposure is demonstrated.Noise level assessment usually starts by measuring noise levels with a Sound Level Meter. The Occupational Safety & Health Unit at ESSR uses either of the two instruments shown below:
If noise levels are shown to exceed 85 decibels, full-shift noise dosimetry is usually conducted utilizing a Metrosonics db3100 dosimeter:
This device is worn by the employee for the entire shift, with the microphone placed near either ear. At the conclusion of the shift, noise level data is retrieved and analyzed to determine if noise is excessive.
Noise dosimetry (monitoring) has been conducted for many occupations at the University of Maryland. A summary of noise dosimetry that has been conducted during the past several years is available.
Noise dosimetry has proven that employees working in the following areas must be enrolled into the Hearing Conservation Program:
Facility Management - Grounds
Facility Management - Life Safety
Facility Management - Piped Services
Facility Management - HVAC Zone 3
Facility Management - HVAC Zone 4
Facility Management - HVAC SCUB OPS
Facility Management - HVAC Fume Hood Shop
Facility Management - HVAC MSS (formerly Scheduled Maintenance)
Facility Management - Suez (Central Seam Plant)
Dining Services - Dishwashers in South Campus Dining Commons
Agriculture Experiment Stations
Noise levels have been assessed in most of the mechanical rooms across campus. Signs are posted at entrances to warn entrants if hearing protection may be necessary. A sample of one of these signs follows:
If new equipment is added to the room, or if older equipment is removed, please notify ESSR of the changes to initiate a new survey of the affected space(s).The database of mechanical room noise levels is available for review.