“Buy Quiet” with the added benefit of considering all safety, health, and cost factors



Approximately 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous workplace noise.  The industries with the highest prevalence of self-reported occupational HL were Mining (61%), Construction (51%) and Manufacturing (47%).  “Buy Quiet” is the most strategic way to reduce noise exposure.  However, there are other safety, health, and cost factors that significantly  influence a purchasing decision for equipment.  A more holistic approach is needed.  The safety requirements procurement standard (SAE AS6228) has extensive guidance for evaluating all the safety, health, and cost factors influencing a purchasing decision for equipment.  The factors are systematically incorporated into a five-year life cycle score. Unfortunately, this standard is underutilized. Publication of SAE AIR6916 and one-page guidance for each tool type will help to address the underutilization.  SAE AIR6916 provides simplified guidance for using the AS6228 standard.  One-page guidance documents with example evaluations of life cycle scores will make it easier for additional tools to be evaluated in a consistent and comparable manner.  Working with retailers and online shopping websites is needed to make the life-cycle score information more easily accessible and easy to use for making purchasing decisions. Additional efforts are aimed at making the life-cycle score methodology routinely utilized and adaptable to new applications.