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It's National Hearing Protection Month!

Hearing loss is preventable! It's important to educate yourself and your employees on hearing protection.

A few tips:

  • Know your noise levels: if you need to raise your voice to communicate with someone less than 3 feet away, noise levels are likely over 85 decibels. In this type of environment, hearing precautions need to be taken into consideration. OSHA requires employers to administer a "continuing, effective hearing conservation program" whenever employee noise exposures "equal or exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average sound level (TWA) of 85 decibels." Pro tip: You can download the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Sound Level Meter App to measure the loudness of your work environment.

  • Implement inexpensive, effective engineering controls to reduce noise levels. OSHA recommends employers to:

    • Choose low-noise tools and machinery (e.g., Buy Quiet Roadmap (NASA)).

    • Maintain and lubricate machinery and equipment (e.g., oil bearings).

    • Place a barrier between the noise source and employee (e.g., sound walls or curtains).

    • Enclose or isolate the noise source.

  • Implement administrative controls such as:

    • Operating noisy machines during times when the fewest amount of people are around.

    • Limit the amount of time employees spend near a noise source.

    • Offer "quiet zones" where workers can receive a break from noise exposure

Check out OSHA's hearing protection standards here to ensure you are compliant.

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