Listening to Your Buds | Hearing Conservation

For over 25 years, occupational hearing loss has been one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States. Each year, approximately 30 million US workers are exposed to hazardous noise, and approximately ten million workers have suffered preventable noise-related hearing loss.

Hearing loss can deeply impact a person’s life, as it interferes with socializing, communicating with family, participating in social activities,

and can lead to psychological and social isolation. Loud noise in the workplace also creates additional problems, such as physical and psychological stress, reduced productivity, communication and concentration issues, and it can contribute to workplace accidents and injuries.

OSHA requires general industry and construction employers to implement a Hearing Conservation Program when worker noise exposure is equal to or greater than the defined permissible exposure limits. The goals of an effective workplace hearing conservation program should be to prevent workplace hearing loss and provide workers with the hearing protection devices and knowledge needed to preserve their hearing. Some important elements of an effective hearing conservation program include:

  • Performing workplace noise sampling, including personal noise monitoring;
  • Informing workers who are at risk from hazardous levels of noise exposure;
  • Implementing a worker hearing testing program;
  • Providing proper hearing protection based upon individual fit and manufacturer quality testing;
  • Conducting evaluations of the effectiveness of hearing protectors;
  • Providing training that ensures workers are aware of the noise exposure hazards and ensures they are trained on the proper use of protective equipment.

There are many benefits to hearing conservation efforts. In addition to protecting workers, research shows that an effective hearing conservation program produces higher levels of worker productivity and a lower incidence of absenteeism.

For additional information on Hearing Conservation in the workplace, see OSHA Hearing Conservation publication 3074.

For OSHA Hearing Conservation Training or other 100% online safety courses, see our online OSHA Hearing Conservation course or our Online Course Catalog.

Date Posted: 01-13-2015
Tags: hearing conservation program, hearing conservation training, osha hearing protection, osha safety topics, osha safety training, osha workplace safety,
Categories: OSHA Safety,