Develop advanced engineering controls for further noise reduction in Chandler and Roza or in Seminoe Powerplants

Project ID: 8849
Principal Investigator: Theresa Gallagher
Research Topic: Public and Employee Safety
Funded Fiscal Years: 2015
Keywords: noise engineering controls; turbine pits

Research Question

Can engineering noise controls be installed in turbine pits that will reduce noise and still meet cooling requirements?

Need and Benefit

Provide the employee with a safe and healthful work environment. Engineering controls are Occupational Safety and Health Administration's primary control. This is a continued, more advanced R&D Project that connects with the Noise Project 6433.

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

stated above. Will email the project plan to Miguel and to Erin. This project could potentially be FY15 or FY16. Seminoe needs the survey. Then, it needs to be decided if these controls would be primary or secondary to previous controls. Should initial controls from previous project ID 6433 be installed first and then further the R&D at the same time or these controls first. I can see it beneficial both ways. Need R&Ds direction. Also, once the initial survey performed, more detailed information will result from the the report findings and recommendations. Note for $100K FY15, that should cover the survey and this proposed project. Installing other controls such as panels, etc. will probably cost at approximately $100K. It also depends on Seminoe's contribution dollars. Initial response is Seminoe is VERY Interested to participate in the noise project.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20