Presentation on theme: "3 rd Step Grievance Meeting 6/19/12 GRIEVANCE #12-08 EAR MUFF Back in the 4 th quarter of 2011, the company had been notified the unions of drastic changes."— Presentation transcript:
GRIEVANCE #12-08 EAR MUFF Back in the 4 th quarter of 2011, the company had been notified the unions of drastic changes in the hearing test of many people. OSHA considers a considerable shift (STS) in hearing loss to be a recordable injury. As of January 1, 2003 this became a new rule. However our company hadn’t informed people of this before. All of a sudden we have a problem. We have had hearing protection for a long time here. Hearing protection didn’t become mandatory here till 1981. Some of the people that have STS were hired before then. The company hasn’t enforced it’s own rules. VS
GRIEVANCE #12-08 EAR MUFF 1 st Step Grievance Filed 2/27/12 1 st Step Answer Received 3/27/12 2 nd Step Grievance Filed 3/30/12 2 nd Step Meeting was held on 4/17/12 2 nd Step Answer Received 5/30/12 3 rd Step Meeting Scheduled 6/19/12 Multiple Extensions Have Been Granted VS
A couple examples of previously provided PPE NPR 25 NPR 32
Other Types of PPE that the Union and Company have succesfully negotiated.
The company and Union have come to agreements over PPE in the past with Annual vouchers for shoes and eyewear The company provides vouchers and Don keeps track of them. Ultimately people have a choice of what PPE they would like to use their vouchers on.
Moulded Ear Plugs & Ear Bud Bands Could Be An Option
Noise is everywhere! It is estimated that possibly as many as 30 million Americans work in hazardous noise on a daily basis. Extra-curricular activities and hobbies such as concerts, race cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles, power tools, lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc. all compound our exposures outside of work. This constant stimulation leaves us (and our ears) with very little quiet time in our lives. This quiet time is essential in the conservation of our hearing. A good rule of thumb is that if you must shout over a noise to be heard by a person standing at arms length, you should be wearing hearing protection. We can not prove that hearing loss has come from working for Nestle USA
1904.10(a) Basic requirement. If an employee's hearing test (audiogram) reveals that the employee has experienced a work-related Standard Threshold Shift (STS) in hearing in one or both ears, and the employee's total hearing level is 25 decibels (dB) or more above audiometric zero (averaged at 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz) in the same ear(s) as the STS, you must record the case on the OSHA 300 Log.1904.10(b) Implementation.1904.10(b)(1) What is a Standard Threshold Shift? A Standard Threshold Shift, or STS, is defined in the occupational noise exposure standard at 29 CFR 1910.95(g)(10)(i) as a change in hearing threshold, relative to the baseline audiogram for that employee, of an average of 10 decibels (dB) or more at 2000, 3000, and 4000 hertz (Hz) in one or both ears.1904.10(b)(2) How do I evaluate the current audiogram to determine whether an employee has an STS and a 25-dB hearing level?1904.10(b)(2)(i) STS. If the employee has never previously experienced a recordable hearing loss, you must compare the employee's current audiogram with that employee's baseline audiogram. If the employee has previously experienced a recordable hearing loss, you must compare the employee's current audiogram with the employee's revised baseline audiogram (the audiogram reflecting the employee's previous recordable hearing loss case).1904.10(b)(2)(ii) 25-dB loss. Audiometric test results reflect the employee's overall hearing ability in comparison to audiometric zero. Therefore, using the employee's current audiogram, you must use the average hearing level at 2000, 3000, and 4000 Hz to determine whether or not the employee's total hearing level is 25 dB or more.1904.10(b)(3) May I adjust the current audiogram to reflect the effects of aging on hearing? Yes. When you are determining whether an STS has occurred, you may age adjust the employee's current audiogram results by using Tables F-1 or F-2, as appropriate, in Appendix F of 29 CFR 1910.95. You may not use an age adjustment when determining whether the employee's total hearing level is 25 dB or more above audiometric zero.1904.10(b)(4) Do I have to record the hearing loss if I am going to retest the employee's hearing? No, if you retest the employee's hearing within 30 days of the first test, and the retest does not confirm the recordable STS, you are not required to record the hearing loss case on the OSHA 300 Log. If the retest confirms the recordable STS, you must record the hearing loss illness within seven (7) calendar days of the retest. If subsequent audiometric testing performed under the testing requirements of the § 1910.95 noise standard indicates that an STS is not persistent, you may erase or line-out the recorded entry.1904.10(b)(5) Are there any special rules for determining whether a hearing loss case is work-related? No. You must use the rules in § 1904.5 to determine if the hearing loss is work-related. If an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the hearing loss, or significantly aggravated a pre-existing hearing loss, you must consider the case to be work related.1904.10(b)(6) If a physician or other licensed health care professional determines the hearing loss is not work-related, do I still need to record the case? If a physician or other licensed health care professional determines that the hearing loss is not work-related or has not been significantly aggravated by occupational noise exposure, you are not required to consider the case work-related or to record the case on the OSHA 300 Log.1904.10(b)(7) How do I complete the 300 Log for a hearing loss case? When you enter a recordable hearing loss case on the OSHA 300 Log, you must check the 300 Log column for hearing loss. (Note: § 1904.10(b)(7) is effective beginning January 1, 2004.) [66 FR 6129, Jan. 19, 2001; 66 FR 52034, Oct. 12, 2001; 67 FR 44048, July, 1, 2002; 67 FR 77170, Dec. 17, 2002]1904.10(b)(4)1904.10(b)(5)1904.10(b)(6)
In 1981, OSHA implemented new requirements to protect all workers in general industry (e.g. the manufacturing and the service sectors) for employers to implement a Hearing Conservation Program where workers are exposed to a time weighted average noise level of 85 dBA or higher over an 8 hour work shift. Hearing Conservation Programs require employers to measure noise levels, provide free annual hearing exams and free hearing protection, provide training, and conduct evaluations of the adequacy of the hearing protectors in use unless changes to tools, equipment and schedules are made so that they are less noisy and worker exposure to noise is less than the 85 dBA.
Every year, approximately 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise. Noise-related hearing loss has been listed as one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns in the United States for more than 25 years. Thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels. Since 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that nearly 125,000 workers have suffered significant, permanent hearing loss. In 2009 alone, BLS reported more than 21,000 hearing loss cases. Exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct this type of hearing loss. Short term exposure to loud noise can also cause a temporary change in hearing (your ears may feel stuffed up) or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus). These short- term problems may go away within a few minutes or hours after leaving the noisy area. However, repeated exposures to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Loud noise can also create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication and concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents and injuries by making it difficult to hear warning signals. Noise-induced hearing loss limits your ability to hear high frequency sounds, understand speech, and seriously impairs your ability to communicate. The effects of hearing loss can be profound, as hearing loss can interfere with your ability to enjoy socializing with friends, playing with your children or grandchildren, or participating in other social activities you enjoy, and can lead to psychological and social isolation.
An effective hearing conservation program must be implemented by employers in general industry whenever worker noise exposure is equal to or greater than 85 dBA for an 8 hour exposure or in the construction industry when exposures exceed 90 dBA for an 8 hour exposure. This program strives to prevent initial occupational hearing loss, preserve and protect remaining hearing, and equip workers with the knowledge and hearing protection devices necessary to protect them. Key elements of an effective hearing conservation program include:effective hearing conservation program Workplace noise sampling including personal noise monitoring which identifies which employees are at risk from hazardous levels of noise. Informing workers at risk from hazardous levels of noise exposure of the results of their noise monitoring. Providing affected workers or their authorized representatives with an opportunity to observe any noise measurements conducted. Maintaining a worker audiometric testing program (hearing tests) which is a professional evaluation of the health effects of noise upon individual worker's hearing. Implementing comprehensive hearing protection follow-up procedures for workers who show a loss of hearing (standard threshold shift) after completing baseline (first) and yearly audiometric testing. Proper selection of hearing protection based upon individual fit and manufacturer's quality testing indicating the likely protection that they will provide to a properly trained wearer. Evaluate the hearing protectors attenuation and effectiveness for the specific workplace noise. Training and information that ensures the workers are aware of the hazard from excessive noise exposures and how to properly use the protective equipment that has been provided. Data management of and worker access to records regarding monitoring and noise sampling. Ask Us Each of these elements is critical to ensure that workers are being protected where noise levels are unable to be reduced below the OSHA required levels.
What are the warning signs that your workplace may be too noisy? Noise may be a problem in your workplace if: You hear ringing or humming in your ears when you leave work. You have to shout to be heard by a coworker an arm's length away. You experience temporary hearing loss when leaving work.
What can be done to reduce the hazard from noise? Noise controls are the first line of defense against excessive noise exposure. The use of these controls should aim to reduce the hazardous exposure to the point where the risk to hearing is eliminated or minimized. With the reduction of even a few decibels, the hazard to hearing is reduced, communication is improved, and noise-related annoyance is reduced. There are several ways to control and reduce worker exposure to noise in a workplace. Engineering controls that reduce sound exposure levels are available and technologically feasible for most noise sources. Engineering controls involve modifying or replacing equipment, or making related physical changes at the noise source or along the transmission path to reduce the noise level at the worker's ear. In some instances the application of a relatively simple engineering noise control solution reduces the noise hazard to the extent that further requirements of the OSHA Noise standard (e.g., audiometric testing (hearing tests), hearing conservation program, provision of hearing protectors, etc…) are not necessary. Examples of inexpensive, effective engineering controls include some of the following:OSHA Noise standard Choose low-noise tools and machinery (e.g., Buy Quiet Roadmap (NASA)).Buy Quiet Roadmap (NASA) Maintain and lubricate machinery and equipment (e.g., oil bearings). Place a barrier between the noise source and employee (e.g., sound walls or curtains). Enclose or isolate the noise source. PREVENTATIVE MAINTENACE ON NOISY EQUIPMENT CAN HELP SOLVE NOISE ISSUES
If the variations in noise level involve maxima at intervals of 1 second or less, it is to be considered continuous
1910.95(i)(3)1910.95(i)(3) Employees shall be given the opportunity to select their hearing protectors from a variety of suitable hearing protectors provided by the employer. 1910.95(i)(4) The employer shall provide training in the use and care of all hearing protectors provided to employees. 1910.95(i)(5) The employer shall ensure proper initial fitting and supervise the correct use of all hearing protectors The company could be found liable and held accountable for not following these guidelines as OSHA has laid out for years.
1910.95(i) "Hearing protectors.““ 1910.95(i)(1)1910.95(i)(1) Employers shall make hearing protectors available to all employees exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or greater at no cost to the employees. Hearing protectors shall be replaced as necessary. 1910.95(i)(2)1910.95(i)(2) Employers shall ensure that hearing protectors are worn: 1910.95(i)(2)(i)1910.95(i)(2)(i) By an employee who is required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section to wear personal protective equipment; and 1910.95(i)(2)(ii)1910.95(i)(2)(ii) By any employee who is exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or greater, and who:1910.95(i)(2)(ii)(A) Has not yet had a baseline audiogram established pursuant to paragraph (g)(5)(ii); or1910.95(i)(2)(ii)(B) Has experienced a standard threshold shift.
"Training program."1910.95(k)(1) The employer shall train each employee who is exposed to noise at or above an 8-hour time weighted average of 85 decibels in accordance with the requirements of this section. The employer shall institute a training program and ensure employee participation in the program.1910.95(k)(2) The training program shall be repeated annually for each employee included in the hearing conservation program. Information provided in the training program shall be updated to be consistent with changes in protective equipment and work processes.1910.95(k)(3) The employer shall ensure that each employee is informed of the following:1910.95(k)(3)(i) The effects of noise on hearing;1910.95(k)(3)(ii) The purpose of hearing protectors, the advantages, disadvantages, and attenuation of various types, and instructions on selection, fitting, use, and care; and1910.95(k)(3)(iii) The purpose of audiometric testing, and an explanation of the test procedures.1910.95(l) "Access to information and training materials."1910.95(l)(1) The employer shall make available to affected employees or their representatives copies of this standard and shall also post a copy in the workplace.1910.95(l)(2) The employer shall provide to affected employees any informational materials pertaining to the standard that are supplied to the employer by the Assistant Secretary.1910.95(l)(3) The employer shall provide, upon request, all materials related to the employer's training and education program pertaining to this standard to the Assistant Secretary and the Director.1910.95(l)(1)
1910.95(m)(3)1910.95(m)(3) "Record retention." The employer shall retain records required in this paragraph (m) for at least the following periods. 1910.95(m)(3)(i)1910.95(m)(3)(i) Noise exposure measurement records shall be retained for two years.1910.95(m)(3)(ii) Audiometric test records shall be retained for the duration of the affected employee's employment.1910.95(m)(4) "Access to records." All records required by this section shall be provided upon request to employees, former employees, representatives designated by the individual employee, and the Assistant Secretary. The provisions of 29 CFR 1910.1020 (a)-(e) and (g)-(i) apply to access to records under this section. 1910.95(m)(5)1910.95(m)(5) "Transfer of records." If the employer ceases to do business, the employer shall transfer to the successor employer all records required to be maintained by this section, and the successor employer shall retain them for the remainder of the period prescribed in paragraph (m)(3) of this section.
Is the hearing loss work-related? The guidance of a physician or other licensed health care professional is to be used when determining work-relatedness. If the professional "determines that the hearing loss is not work-related or has not been significantly aggravated by occupational noise exposure, the employer is not required to consider the case work-related and therefore is not required to record it" (76 FR 44045). Work-relatedness is to be determined on a case-by-case basis. The overall approach is that "a case is work-related if one or more events or exposures in the work environment either causes or contributed to the hearing loss, or significantly aggravated a pre-existing hearing loss" (76 FR 44045). ‘Other licensed health care professional’ is defined in 1904.10 Subpart G – Definitions, as "an individual whose legally permitted scope of practice (i.e., license, registration, or certification) allows him or her to independently perform, or be delegated the responsibility to perform, the activities described by this regulation." Occupational Audiologist qualify for determining job relatedness for purposes of recording hearing loss on the OSHA 300 Log. There is no presumption of work-relatedness for workers exposed to 85 dBA TWA, Action Level (76 FR 44045). Workers above the Action Level may experience a non-work-related loss even though "it is likely that occupational exposure to noise in excess of 85 dBA will be a casual factor in hearing loss in some cases…work-relatedness is not justified in all cases" (76 FR 44045). Considerations in determining work-relatedness: —Prior occupational and non-occupational noise exposure. —Evaluation of calibration records and test environment. —Investigation of related activities. —Personal medical conditions. —Age correction. —Effectiveness of hearing conservation program, —Wearing of hearing protection. —Inadequate attenuating hearing protection. —Ill-fitting and improper insertion of hearing protection. —Consistent or inconsistent use of hearing protection. (76 FR 44045) Workers below the Action Level may experience a work-related loss (76 FR 44045). Where it is true that noise exposure below the Action Level of 85 dBA TWA has a small percentage of workers at risk, it is important to note that in my experience the occurrence of work-related hearing loss without noise is rare in most industries. A ruptured eardrum due to trauma or diving, sparks in the ear, etc., would already be recordable as an injury. Exposure to heavy metals and organic solvents as toluene, xylene, styrene, trichlorethylene, etc. may produce hearing loss without noise. However, their occurrence without noise is rare. Hearing testing on some routine basis (3yrs, 5yrs or 7 yrs) of non-noise exposed workers is strongly encouraged. The benefit of a continuing, successful hearing conservation program is to maintain a healthy workforce by detecting and preventing hearing loss in all workers.
This week the company is conducting their own annual hearing tests. Are these tests being done properly? Is a standard baseline test being performed accurately?
1910.95(g)(5)(ii) "Mobile test van exception." Where mobile test vans are used to meet the audiometric testing obligation, the employer shall obtain a valid baseline audiogram within 1 year of an employee's first exposure at or above the action level. Where baseline audiograms are obtained more than 6 months after the employee's first exposure at or above the action level, employees shall wear hearing protectors for any period exceeding six months after first exposure until the baseline audiogram is obtained. 1910.95(g)(5)(iii) 1910.95(g)(5)(iii) Testing to establish a baseline audiogram shall be preceded by at least 14 hours without exposure to workplace noise. Hearing protectors may be used as a substitute for the requirement that baseline audiograms be preceded by 14 hours without exposure to workplace noise. 1910.95(g)(5)(iv) The employer shall notify employees of the need to avoid high levels of non-occupational noise exposure during the 14-hour period immediately preceding the audiometric examination. 1910.95(g)(6) "Annual audiogram." At least annually after obtaining the baseline audiogram, the employer shall obtain a new audiogram for each employee exposed at or above an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels.
"Evaluation of audiogram." 1910.95(g)(7)(i) Each employee's annual audiogram shall be compared to that employee's baseline audiogram to determine if the audiogram is valid and if a standard threshold shift as defined in paragraph (g)(10) of this section has occurred. This comparison may be done by a technician. 1910.95(g)(7)(ii) 1910.95(g)(7)(ii) If the annual audiogram shows that an employee has suffered a standard threshold shift, the employer may obtain a retest within 30 days and consider the results of the retest as the annual audiogram. 1910.95(g)(7)(iii) The audiologist, otolaryngologist, or physician shall review problem audiograms and shall determine whether there is a need for further evaluation. The employer shall provide to the person performing this evaluation the following information: 1910.95(g)(7)(iii)(A) A copy of the requirements for hearing conservation as set forth in paragraphs (c) through (n) of this section; 1910.95(g)(7)(iii)(B) The baseline audiogram and most recent audiogram of the employee to be evaluated; 1910.95(g)(7)(iii)(C) Measurements of background sound pressure levels in the audiometric test room as required in Appendix D: Audiometric Test Rooms. 1910.95(g)(7)(iii)(D) Records of audiometer calibrations required by paragraph (h)(5) of this section.
"Follow-up procedures." 1910.95(g)(8)(i) If a comparison of the annual audiogram to the baseline audiogram indicates a standard threshold shift as defined in paragraph (g)(10) of this section has occurred, the employee shall be informed of this fact in writing, within 21 days of the determination. 1910.95(g)(8)(i) 1910.95(g)(8)(ii) 1910.95(g)(8)(ii) Unless a physician determines that the standard threshold shift is not work related or aggravated by occupational noise exposure, the employer shall ensure that the following steps are taken when a standard threshold shift occurs: 1910.95(g)(8)(ii)(A) Employees not using hearing protectors shall be fitted with hearing protectors, trained in their use and care, and required to use them. 1910.95(g)(8)(ii)(B) Employees already using hearing protectors shall be refitted and retrained in the use of hearing protectors and provided with hearing protectors offering greater attenuation if necessary. 1910.95(g)(8)(ii)(C) The employee shall be referred for a clinical audiological evaluation or an otological examination, as appropriate, if additional testing is necessary or if the employer suspects that a medical pathology of the ear is caused or aggravated by the wearing of hearing protectors. 1910.95(g)(8)(ii)(D) The employee is informed of the need for an otological examination if a medical pathology of the ear that is unrelated to the use of hearing protectors is suspected. 1910.95(g)(8)(iii) If subsequent audiometric testing of an employee whose exposure to noise is less than an 8-hour TWA of 90 decibels indicates that a standard threshold shift is not persistent, the employer: 1910.95(g)(8)(iii)(A) Shall inform the employee of the new audiometric interpretation; and 1910.95(g)(8)(iii)(B) May discontinue the required use of hearing protectors for that employee. 1910.95(g)(9) 1910.95(g)(9) "Revised baseline." An annual audiogram may be substituted for the baseline audiogram when, in the judgment of the audiologist, otolaryngologist or physician who is evaluating the audiogram: 1910.95(g)(9)(i) 1910.95(g)(9)(i) The standard threshold shift revealed by the audiogram is persistent; or 1910.95(g)(9)(ii) 1910.95(g)(9)(ii) The hearing threshold shown in the annual audiogram indicates significant improvement over the baseline audiogram.
Ear Muffs are big and bulky to wear. Very hot in areas of high humidity and in areas with little or no air movement. Ear Muffs are big enough to somewhat visually see that employees are being compliant. As it is right now, we wear protective eyewear and footwear. We also wear hair nets and beard nets. We have choices for our feet and for our eyes so why not our ears. Ear plugs are the so called staple of hearing protection. Our facility has been used to having choices on what we wear. We should jointly work towards giving our people a choice. People are speaking up about what they like and don’t like. The ear muff trial is over and the results have been heard. The company isn’t actively enforcing PPE compliance. 1 st of all management has to give an employee a chance to comply.
After our NCE/TPM meeting on June 18 th I got to have a little one on one time with Verna Elliott. Sounds to me like that in order to get the “canal cap” as an option, QA needs to sign off on it as being detectable and compliant. Can we find common ground on giving people a choice. And can the company enforce the compliance issue. People haven’t been enforced to wearing PPE for years. At 85db the company has to provide protection. At 90db or higher it is mandatory that hearing protection be required to be worn. As of 6/19/12 the Union has not received information requested for current noise levels within our plant. Preliminary checks showed between 85 – 92 db on average. Does a company rule over rule an OSHA guideline? This Union feels that people would be more inclined to be compliant if they were to have a choice.
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On a final thought, PPE is given out at the tool crib. To me this seems its to be a long walk from the front of the factory to the back to get replacement items. It would almost be better for the security guard to check things out to employees. Have an employee sign for a particular items. Put an annual limit on what employees are allowed and track their usage. People shouldn’t have to got the doctor to say they can’t wear hearing protection. More times than not this is a ploy just to get the employee to comply. The company has the ability to enforce rules and policies if they so choose too. People are used to getting vouchers for say like eyeglasses but not everybody uses that voucher. People ultimately should have a choice and not sign off on having to