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Hearing Conservation Program

Work-related hearing loss continues to be a critical workplace safety and health issue. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the occupational safety and health community named hearing loss one of the 21 priority areas for research in the next century. Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable, but once acquired, hearing loss is permanent and irreversible. Therefore, prevention measures must be taken by employers as well as workers to ensure the protection of workers' hearing.

Noise exposure levels for employees' should not exceed 85 decibels over 8 working hours, or an 8-hour time weighted average (TWA). That is, employers must monitor all employees whose noise exposure is equivalent to or greater than a noise exposure received in 8 hours where the noise level is constantly 85 decibels.

If you work in an area with machines and/or use equipment that exposes you to greater than 85 decibels, then hearing protection should be worn, such as ear plugs or ear muffs. If you are not sure if your area or equipment exceeds 85 decibels or would like more information regarding our Hearing Conservation Program, please contact the EH&S office at 2185. If you would like further information regarding Occupational Noise Exposure follow this link www.osha.gov , then type in noise exposure.

Hearing Conservation Manual