Exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss, unable to be repaired by surgery or hearing aid. Short term exposure to loud noise can also cause a temporary change in hearing (your ears may feel stuffed up) or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus). These short-term problems may go away within minutes or hours after leaving the area. However, repeated exposures to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
Loud noise can also create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication and concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents and injuries by making it difficult to hear warning signals. Noise-induced hearing loss limits your ability to hear high frequency sounds, understand speech, and seriously impairs your ability to communicate. The effects of hearing loss can be profound, as hearing loss can interfere with your ability to enjoy socializing or participating in other social activities you enjoy, and can lead to psychological and social isolation.
Occupational Noise Standards
Noise and hearing conservation is addressed in specific standards for recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction employment. Click here to read more on the Department of Labor website…
Hearing Conservation Program
An effective hearing conservation program can prevent hearing loss, improve employee morale and a general feeling of well-being, increase quality of production, and reduce the incidence of stress-related disease.
The employer must administer a continuing, effective hearing conservation program whenever employee noise exposures are at or above an eight hour time-weighted average (TWA) of 85 dBA or, equivalently, a dose of 50 percent.
|1. Noise monitoring||29 CFR 1910.95(d)(e)(f)|
|2. Audiometric testing||29 CFR 1910.95(g)(h)|
|3. Hearing protectors||29 CFR 1910.95(i)(j)|
|4. Education and training||29 CFR 1910.95(k)(l)|
|5. Recordkeeping||29 CFR 1910.95(m)|