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Friday, February 8 • 4:20pm - 4:40pm
Comparison of Gas-Powered vs. Battery-Powered Equipment for Landscape Maintenance Hedge Trimming Operations

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Grounds maintenance professionals use a variety of noise-producing equipment and are at a high-risk for occupational hearing loss. The most common method of hearing loss prevention is the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Similar to other industrial situations, the preferable solution for protecting workers from the harmful effects of noise is to control noise at the source, which can eliminate the need for PPE and Hearing Loss Prevention Programs. One effective control strategy is to replace noisy equipment with quieter equipment. For instance, battery-powered tools are typically quieter than gas-powered tools, and have additional ergonomic, environmental, and health-related benefits.  This presentation is based on a field comparison of worker noise dose and sound levels for two different hedge-trimming crews: 1) one using gas-powered equipment and 2) the other using battery-powered equipment. Dosimetry and sound level measurements show that the crew using battery-powered equipment had significantly lower noise exposures than the crew using gasoline-powered versions. Furthermore, the management of this grounds maintenance crew provided researchers with a great deal of information regarding efforts to prevent worker hearing loss. These efforts include evaluation of the feasibility of switching over to battery-powered equipment and a systematic approach to buying quieter equipment.


Bryan Beamer, PhD, PE, CSP

Bryan Beamer has over 20 years of work experience as an Industrial Engineer and Educator, including: work as an Industrial Engineer at Rittal Corporation; experience as a Research Engineer at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; over ten years as an Associate... Read More →

Jackie DiFrancesco

Honeywell Safety Products

Friday February 8, 2019 4:20pm - 4:40pm PST
Grapevine A