CSA Z1007 Hearing Loss Prevention Program Management (HLPP)
In Canada the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) develops and maintains standards and codes that
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With workers in many occupational sectors being exposed to high levels of occupational noise it was critically important to identify these hazardous situations and implement preventative measures to help protect the hearing of workers.
CSA Z1007 – Hearing loss prevention program (HLPP) management is the first in a series of standards on occupational noise control to help address these potential concerns to worker health and safety. It covers all aspects of the creation and management of hearing loss prevention programs.
The standard helps guide businesses in establishing a management process for an effective hearing loss prevention program
“The idea is to make them knowledgeable managers of hearing loss prevention programs,” explained Jeffrey Goldberg – Custom Protect Ear / chair of the technical committee, on May 1 at Partners in Prevention, an occupational health and safety conference.
“The standard tells the non-professional they need to do a noise survey,” he noted. “It doesn’t necessarily tell them how to do it; it tells them how to know they’re getting an effective one from a service provider that is going to do it for them.”
Some of the concerns addressed were the fact that there were different criteria for Action Levels, Protection Levels and Exchange Rates. The difference between Canada & the U.S.A. show in the chart below:
|Federally Regulated and Inspected||Provincially Regulated and Inspected|
|Regulations are Uniform Across the Country||Different Criteria in 14 Jurisdictions Across the Country|
|Action Level – 85 dBA||Action Level(s) – 80 (4), 82 (2), 84 (1), 85 (1), Not Specified (6)|
|Protection Level – 90 dBA||Protection Level – 85 (11), 87, 90 dBA|
|Exchange Rate – 5 dB||Exchange Rate – 3 dB (11), 5 dB (3)|
To reduce the incidence of NIHL Z1007 needed to target both the knowledgeable and uninformed Manager and in order to be effective needed to be referenced in regulation by the Jurisdictions in Canada. Long-term exposure to noise can result in both hearing loss and stress-related illness. In addition, noise can interfere with critical communications and warning signals.
The Scope of the Standard outlines the Elements of an HLPP from Education and Training to Record Keeping. Elements include:
- Detecting the Noise Hazard
- Controlling Noise Exposure
- Hearing Protective Devices
- Hazard Communication and
- Monitoring Program Performance
Some things left unresolved and next steps are to start the revisions for the next version and to address:
- Is Hearing Acuity a Fit for Duty criteria?
- If it is, how do you deal with hearing impairment created by the work environment
- If it isn’t, how do you keep people safe?
- What is the Protocol for Persons with Hearing Aids
- There isn’t a single protocol that can address this issue
- Transient, Temporary, and Short Term Workers need to be covered – How do we do that?
- Is this the employer’s responsibility?
- Is this the regulators responsibility?
“Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere.”…. Former U.S. Surgeon General William Stuart