Implementing Noise Engineering Controls in larger powerplant

Project ID: 8181
Principal Investigator: Theresa Gallagher
Research Topic: Public and Employee Safety
Priority Area Assignments: 2015 (Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2015
Keywords: noise engineering controls in large powerplants

Research Question

Where do we focus our engineering efforts and resources to gain the greatest improvement on employee safety and health in the powerplants with regard to preventing hearing loss?

What are the most cost effective engineering solutions that can be implemented to eliminate or reduce the noise levels below the industrial standard for hazardous noise of 85 decibels A weighted?

Are engineering noise controls feasible in larger powerplants than in Roza or Chandler?

Need and Benefit

Hearing loss is the number one workers compensation issue in Reclamation. Over the last 10 years, Reclamation has paid approximately 5.24 million dollars in hearing loss claims. Reclamation and its partners in this proposal encounter this issue on a daily basis. Reducing continuous noise in the powerplants will hopefully eliminate these claims in the future.

Noise is often overlooked as a hazard because there are no obvious indicators of acute or chronic exposure. However, noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the highest workers compensation expenses agencies have for non-traumatic injuries. NIHL is preventable by reducing the noise at the source, providing effective hearing protectors, and/or by limiting frequency and duration of exposure. Most of the existing powerplants are over 40 years old and were constructed before many modern noise control technologies were developed. It is paramount to determine the source and type (frequency and level) of noise in the powerplants prior to evaluating potential mitigation measures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires elimination/reduction of a hazard through engineering controls prior to implementing administrative and personal protective equipment strategies.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Advanced Engineering Controls for Roza and Chandler Powerplants. See attached or will email in a separate email to Miguel and to Erin. Use this plan for Seminoe instead of Roza and Chandler.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20