Date of Award

Summer 2001

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

One-Jang Jeng

Second Advisor

Arijit K. Sengupta

Third Advisor

Norman J. Van Houten

Abstract

Noise in the hospital environment can have negative effects on both patients and hospital staff. Unwanted noise can be disturbing and often annoying thus, interfering with patients' sleep and obstructing work performance of the hospital staff. A research study was conducted in the hospital unit to identify and develop methods of intervention for intermittent noise and their source. Routine staff work activity generated noise levels above EPA hospital noise recommendations. A sound level meter and video camera was used to capture noise between the work-shifts. The video camera captured digital readings generated by the sound level meter which, helped identify high intermittent noise and approximate hour it occurred within that day.

Statistical analysis shows that noise levels varied among different days of the week. An analysis of variance and a multiple range test was performed and results indicated that there were different noise levels among the sampled days. Routine staff work activity and conversation among other staff members are the major cause of noise peaks. A personal interview with one staff member briefly discussed the main source of hospital noise to be interaction among other staff members in addition to daily use of hospital equipment and handling other hospital supplies. A possible intervention to noise control in the hospital unit is staff awareness and education. In addition, modifying an existing equipment or purchasing new equipment with noise specification options will help decrease and/or eliminate noise.

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