Do you have to shout to be heard from three feet away? 

If so, you are dangerously exposed to loud noise. 

Noise exposure is one of the most common occupational health issues. Too often, exposure to noise for a prolonged period results in permanently damaged hearing. Moreover, the extent of noise exposure includes many other health-related issues such as stress, hypertension and fatigue. 

Because of the pervasive effects of noise, you and your employees must understand the importance of protection hearing under OSHA's Hearing Conservation Programs

Hearing Conservation Programs (HCPs) begins with an investigation into potential noise exposures on your worksite, also known as noise monitoring. This determines whether workers are exposed to noises at or above 85 decibels for an average 8-hour workday. 

Based on noise monitoring results, you can create a plan of action for employees who need to be part of a program. Moreover, you can identify the specific type of hearing protection needed for employees based on noise exposure levels, employee comfort and listening needs on the job. 

A Hearing Conservation Program must include:

1. Noise monitoring: This includes an investigation into possible noise-exposure issues

2. Hearing protection acquisitions based on noise monitoring results

3. Hearing protection training: education and training for employees and employers

4. Hearing testing and immediate validation of hearing shifts 

 ·       Retesting of validated shifts 

 ·        Work Relatedness Evaluations (WREs) on confirmed shifts 

 ·       Reassessments of hearing protection device needs for affected employees

 ·        Notifications

Identifying possible work-related hearing loss

You are required the noise hazard and exposed population through area and personal noise monitoring. 

·       Reportable OSHA and FRA shifts - 10db average change from current test to baseline (at 2k, 3k and 4k) and 25db average hearing level on current test at 2k, 3k and 4k. 

·        Work Reportable MSHA shift - 25db average change from current test to reference baseline at 2k, 3k and 4k. 

Why employers should care

When your workers are not protected, both your company and your employees suffer heavy consequences. 

Some of the issues affecting your company may include: 

·       Increased safety liability 

·       Increase in worker compensation cases

·       Increased disability dollars incurred

·        Potential increase in healthcare benefit costs

·       Increased administration costs

·        Fines from OSHA

Some of the issues affecting your employees may include: 

·       Fatigue 

·       Tinnitus 

·       Temporary hearing loss

·        Permanent hearing loss

·       Increased safety risk 

·        Loss of situational awareness

How Examinetics can help you

Examinetics provides convenient mobile compliance health services designed to reduce absenteeism and save money. Through annual screening and consistent data-driven information, Examinetics' services and technology improve your efforts to keep your employees productive and safe. As your partner in workforce health, we provide: 

·       Mobile onsite occupational health screening and data management services 

·       One source for all your occupational and compliance testing needs 

·       Historical data and reports that give you insights into your population's health

·        Permanent track record of services that keeps you OSHA compliant 

Our team of experts audiologists, lead by Dr. Cindy Bloyer, AUD. CCC-A, CPS/A, can determine if any hearing loss is the result of workplace noise exposure or non-work-related. This includes:

·       Follow-up testing

·       Medical history review

·       Questionnaire and workplace noise exposure records

·        Test results evaluation

Implementing a quality Hearing Conservation Program that is consistent throughout your company and provides ongoing analytics will help sustain, and potentially improve employee health. It also ensures you keep costs contained and remain compliant with federal and state regulations. 

Contact us today for more information regarding hearing loss prevention and workforce health solutions.

 

Sources

·         OSHA's Hearing Conservation Programs

·         Hearing Conservation Porgram

·         Occupational Noise Exposure

 

 

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This is business-to-business information intended for EHS (environmental health and safety) professionals and not intended for the final consumer. Companies should check the local regulatory status of any claim according to their individual needs, requirements and intended use.