Wednesday, January 20, 2010

IH standard baggage

While at work today, I stopped to talk to one of the workers, to explain what was going on regarding a project before the team arrived. I noticed rather quickly that his work station was particularly loud.  I asked if he was required to use hearing protection.  He said no, but then qualified his statement by pointing out he had only been on the job for 2 months.  Stunning me with his initiative, he walked to the next work station and asked his group leader.  No, no noise PPE required.

Not being convinced this assessment was correct, and being chronically curious, I went to the safety office to get a noise meter.  I returned, only to discover that the 2nd work station was no longer running.  Ah, well.  Loud, but not the same.

He asked me about what I was doing. I of course answered him,
explained there is a limit for how much noise you can have,
showed him the meter was measuring noise,
explained the meter read-out, and
explained how that number relates to the company's exposure limit.
He was satisfied and thanked me for my time.  Just what every IH wants, eh?

If only I hadn't needed to spend 10 minutes finding a noise meter!

I often find myself wishing I had a standard bag-of-tricks to carry around.  Sure, there's always the things I might personally really need, like a spare pair of non-prescription safety glasses that I know fit over my prescription glasses or ear plugs.  (I do always carry a spare set of ear plugs in my pocket - even if I'm already wearing mine.  I've given them away 2 times in the past 3 days.) With the advent of smaller and smaller electronics, I would definitely add a noise meter to the bag.  The one I used a couple years ago for my internship was pretty compact.  It wouldn't need to be fancy; only functional.  A Dräger hand pump (the simplistic kinds) with a set of tubes for VOCs and CO.  A particle meter. ... hmmm...  a professional shopping list.

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