According to NIOSH, 30 million Americans are exposed to hazardous noise at work. This has resulted in a permanent hearing loss for about 10 million workers. Loud noises can cause hearing loss by damaging the delicate hair cells in the inner ear. Most of the time, this damage happens gradually when prolonged exposure to loud sounds exhausts these hair cells. However, a short, intense sound—an explosion, for example— may cause immediate hearing loss.Protecting Your Employees’ Hearing
Protect Your Employees’ Hearing with a Noise Evaluation
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to develop and implement a noise monitoring program when “information indicates that any employee’s exposure may equal or exceed an 8-hour average exposure of 85 decibels.” When this occurs, OSHA requires employers to notify employees, to establish and maintain a hearing test program, and to train workers how to prevent occupational hearing loss. When engineering controls have not yet eliminated hazardous noise, OSHA also requires employers to provide hearing protectors and ensure workers wear them. Not every type of hearing protection is useful for every type of noise. Disposable foam earplugs may be fine for some noise exposure while earmuff-type protection may be suitable for another.
EHS Documents, Inc. provides full support for your hearing conservation program. Our team of health and safety professionals is led by a Certified Industrial Hygienist/Certified Safety Professional with over 25 years’ experience. We can provide your company with a noise evaluation, a hearing conservation policy and/or do noise monitoring. Our goal is to make sure your employees are protected from harmful noise while keeping your company in compliance with all OSHA and other regulatory agencies. As always, we are here to help!