Sunday, February 1, 2009

questions for noise monitoring

As I progressed with this project, I realized that I should ask more questions. Sure, these are patently obvious, and are probably mentioned in any text on the topic. But, hey, this is why the first time doing something is educational. And of course, some of these I realized ought to have been asked after getting data I didn't want. Do you move to other tasks in the day? If so, find out which ones & how long they are at each station. How long do you stay at this work station? If the answer is less than a full shift, find out where else they are (& what they're doing). Is this a normal day for you? Do you normally run this (gizmo) more? less? Is production running faster or slower? Are you doing more tasks than usual? How long have you been doing this task, i.e., years, months, weeks You should establish how much experience the worker has with this task, which might be different than their seniority/time-in-grade might indicate. 30 years with the company might mean she's been doing this task for 6 months. Are you working overtime today? Often? Will you need to set the measuring instruments to accommodate a longer measurement? When you do calculations, you'll need to know what their normal exposure is, if today is different. Who else does this task or works at this station? Do you have someone who just helps out occasionally? This might be different than the answer you get from the supervisor. You're more interested in finding the perhaps unofficial or unknown "helpers", to make sure the helpers get included in your surveillance program. Is this task done every day? If this isn't a routine task, find out how often it is done. You might manage to catch someone doing a quarterly or annual task. And, if you miss the infrequent/irregular jobs, find out when they happen so that you can catch it next time.* As with anything else, have a pre-printed sheet with all of these questions. If you expect to have standard answers, put the standard answer with the question, so that you can easily circle it, rather than write it. E.g.: How long have you been doing this task? less than 6 months 1 year 5 years more than 10 years How long are you at this work station? 8 hours 4 hours 2 hours other ________ The easier it is for you to gather information, the more relaxed the employees will be. If it's quick and painless, it won't interrupt their work (as much). * Especially with irregular jobs, I find it much better to be able to approach the Supervisor and ask for a very specific thing: "Please contact me the next time you shut down Machine 5 for cleaning?" If you already know what you want (because you got the information from the worker), the manager will be either a) impressed that you know what you want and hopefully b) more likely to do it, because she knows what you want. This will also benefit your relationship with the worker: Asking them for information indicates your respect for their professional competence.

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