BOD Decision - 2004/07/20-03 - Amendment to Part 7 of the OHS Regulation, Pertaining to Noise, Vibration, Radiation & Temperature
Part 7 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation ("OHSR") contains regulatory requirements with respect to a worker's exposure to noise, vibration, radiation and temperature (heat and cold stress). The current requirements are outdated, often very technical in nature and require professional expertise for implementation.
During its meeting on July 20, 2004, the Board of Directors approved amendments to Part 7 to streamline and clarify existing requirements, update editions of existing referenced standards, as well as introduce new standards based on current science and best practices. The new standards are:
- Noise: Changing the peak exposure limit for noise from 135 dBA to 140 dBC peak sound level.
- Vibration: Adopting the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists ("ACGIH") publication, Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices, as a standard for addressing exposure to hand-arm vibration. The ACGIH standard provides vibration exposure limits, which are new requirements.
- Radiation: Changing the current requirement for a radiation survey of work areas influenced by radiation-producing equipment to be conducted every two years to only when equipment is modified or damaged, and as otherwise directed by the Workers' Compensation Board.
- Temperature: Replacing Tables 7-2, 7-3 and 7-4 in the OHSR, which provide technical information about exposure levels for heat and cold stress, with a reference to the ACGIH publication, Threshold Limit Values and Biological Exposure Indices. The heat and cold stress sections of the ACGIH publication provide instructions for calculating heat and cold exposure levels, as well as information on addressing matters such as workload, work-rest cycles and the state of acclimatization of the worker for heat stress; and work-warm-up schedules and wind chill for cold stress.
In addition, in response to submissions received during the recent public hearing, the following changes to the proposal that went to public hearing were approved:
- Maintaining the current approach to referencing external third party standards in the regulations, with the addition of the phrase "as amended from time to time" to allow flexibility to adopt updated editions of the standard.
- Retaining the existing retention period requirements for records relating to radiation surveys and a worker's exposure to radiation.
- Keeping the existing requirement for an employer to provide and maintain a supply of cool potable water for a heat-exposed worker.
The amendments come into effect on January 1, 2005.