Safety Minute: The Importance of Having a Hearing Conservation Program
Did you know, about 24% of the hearing difficulty among U.S. workers is caused by occupational exposures?
What is noise?
Noise is a sound, especially one that is loud, unpleasant or that causes disturbance. Noise affects us each day while at work and at home, but it is the level and duration that can be hazardous. Noise is hazardous because once it causes damage, there is no way to reverse its effects. Different levels of sound can create hearing loss if it is at the right decibel strength and duration.
Is noise a problem at your workplace?
Do you have to raise your voice to have a normal conversation?
Are there instances of random but frequent short bursts of loud noises at the workplace?
At the end of the day, do you notice temporary hearing loss (your hearing is muffled, or your ears are ringing)?
Regulatory Actions 29 CFR 1910.95
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to have a hearing conservation program in place if workers are exposed to a time-weighted average (TWA) noise level of 85 decibels (dBA) or higher over an 8-hour work shift.
Hazards of Noise Include:
Permanent hearing loss
Productivity levels may suffer
Physical and psychological stress for employees
Missing work instructions / alarms
Potential Contributing Factors:
Equipment and Machinery
Hobbies outside of work (rides motorcycles, hunts)
Ways to Control Hazardous Noise
Sites should conduct a noise survey of their work place to identify areas of concern. If employees are exposed to 85 dBA additional monitoring and the implementation of controls is recommended.
Examples of Controls:
How can Capaccio Environmental Engineering Help?
Conduct site noise survey
Conduct an 8-hour TWA personal and area noise sampling
Provide recommendations and improvements
Create an OSHA compliant Hearing Conservation Program
For more information
If you have any questions regarding this subject matter or other EHS objectives, please contact us:
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