Noise PPE, Controls Suggested for Hospital Workers

Noise levels at a sample hospital--a tertiary care center during the 2003 SARS outbreak in Taiwan--were above recommended exposure levels and even OSHA's permissible exposure level, causing the author of the noise study to suggest that employees use ear plugs. Jar-Yuan Pai measured noise levels at 98.5 to 107.5 dB in power generator rooms and air-conditioning facilities, according to a paper in Vol. 13, No. 1 (2007) of the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, published by Poland's Central Institute for Labour Protection, which is based in Warsaw. Visit www.ciop.pl/15341.html to read abstracts of papers and other materials in this issue.

Noise levels in the wards and stations ranged from 50.3 to 68.1 dB, which exceeded the suggested limit for hospital wards' sound. The quietest units were the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and recovery rooms, with a noise level lower than 50 dB during the night, according to the author, who said noise controls proved successful.

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