Occupational Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
1 hour 30 minutes
Learn strategies to prevent work-related hearing loss.
Over 22 million workers are exposed to noise in the workplace every day at potentially damaging levels. When uncontrolled, noise exposure may cause permanent hearing loss, an irreversible health condition that is fully preventable. Hearing loss can also interfere with effective training and communication, including the ability to hear workplace warning signals, which puts hearing-impaired workers at an elevated risk of injury. New information confirms that exposure to certain chemicals may cause hearing loss or balance problems, regardless of noise exposure, but the combination of noise and chemicals can be extremely hazardous to workers, so this is another consideration for some employers when developing a program for protecting workers. Hearing loss results in some $250 million per year in preventable workers’ compensation costs. This material will explain the fundamentals of OSHA compliance with the general industry and construction noise standards, as well as best practices for mitigating noise exposures, conducting hazard assessments, and ensuring that the appropriate protections are provided for workers exposed to elevated noise levels who are enrolled in a workplace hearing conservation program.
• You will be able to define the different types of hearing loss, which are reversible, and which are occupationally related.
• You will be able to discuss the pros and cons of different types of controls and styles of hearing protection.
• You will be able to explain the employer’s obligation to provide paid PPE to workers and use off-the-job.
• You will be able to identify the direct and indirect benefits of an effective hearing conservation program.