In 1970, the OSH Act became law. It established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is responsible for ensuring the safety of workers in the US through a series of rules, training requirements, community outreach, and assistance.
Providing hearing protection to any employee exposed to damaging noise, even for short periods. Sound over 90 dB can cause hearing loss in as few as 15 minutes.
Employee monitoring to ensure they’re using protective gear correctly
Noise sampling throughout a facility with retesting after 30 days for those with hearing loss
Notifying employees when they’re exposed to dangerous noise levels
Providing clinical evaluations when needed
When providing hearing protection, you should always consider the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). You’ll find in on hearing protection packages. This tells you how many decibels the protection blocks. So, for example, earplugs with a 20 NRR could reduce a 90 dB workplace to a 70 dB workplace when worn correctly.
Do they apply to my company?
Hearing can be damaged suddenly with 110 dB or higher or gradually with prolonged exposure to 85 dB or more. Frequency is also a factor. Higher frequencies can damage hearing faster, which is why testing is essential.
Common workplace noise hazards include:
Sirens and alarms
Are your employees exposed to hazards like these?
How do I know what my workers need?
To determine what you need in your workplace, first, assess the noise levels where employees work. You may be surprised how loud some areas are. Then begin annual tests to tell you if someone’s hearing is degrading over time. Hearing loss could be caused by several things like lack of protection or failure of the employee to comply with hearing protection rules. Get testing done by a professional (like us!).
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Harmful sounds are those that are too loud and last too long or are very loud and sudden.
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