DID YOU SAY?" HEARING LOSS IS DEAFENING!
is unwanted sound. It can have different effects on all of
effects mean that noise can startle us, annoy us, and disrupt
our concentration. Noise can interfere with our communications
when we are talking with others. As a consequence, it interferes
with our job performances and our safety.
effects mean that we can lose our hearing. Noise can cause
pain and even nausea when the exposure is severe.
in effect, reduce the noise levels at the inner ear. Ear protection
is particularly important when noise exposures cannot be controlled
adequately by changing the environment around us.
may be either earplugs or earmuffs and must have the adequate
Noise Reduction Rating, or NRR, to reduce the amount of noise
we are exposed to in the workplace. We also must have a good
"seal" when wearing our hearing protection. Without the proper
fit, hearing protection may not be as beneficial as expected
and still result in damage to our hearing.
factors may be used to determine the level of noise around
it is necessary to speak in a very loud voice or shout to
be understood, it is likely that the exposure limit for
noise is being exceeded.
you have heard noises and ringing noises in your ears at
the end of the workday, you are being exposed to too much
speech or music sounds muffled to you after leaving work,
but sounds fairly clear in the morning when you return to
work, there is little doubt about your being exposed to
noise levels that can eventually cause a partial loss of
hearing that can be permanent.
of these conditions exist, contact your supervisor and request
a safety professional monitor the sound levels by using a
sound level meter, the safety professional will measure the
noise level at various work areas. They can then determine
whether the exposure is great enough to require implementing
a Hearing Conservation Program
at your work location. NIOSH has an on-line pamphlet that can provide you with further information.
Conservation Program is mandatory per the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration, when sound levels have exceeded
the permissible exposure limits (PELs) determined and must
consist of a written documented program describing the processes
of hearing conservation at the location, sound monitoring,
baseline and annual audiometric (hearing) tests for employees,
and proper hearing protection and training of the program,
along with annual updates and reviews of the program.
when in doubt or if you have to shout- wear properly fitted
information regarding OHSA's Noise and Hearing Conservation
Program, go to their web page at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/noisehearingconservation/index.html.