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9/13/2019 - Construction Safety Support

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Preventing Hearing Loss Caused by Chemical (Ototoxicity) and Noise Exposure

Monday, August 19, 2019
Preventing Hearing Loss Caused by Chemical (Ototoxicity) and Noise Exposure

 

Preventing Hearing Loss
Colin J. Brigham

Today I would like to share some information on Occupational Noise Exposure and Community Noise. 1Source professionals draw on their many years of technical and management responsibility for the review and development of written policies and programs, to help you comply with regulations. Knowledge of the changing regulatory and business management environments not only helps in the development of programs, but also in their implementation. 1Source has conducted noise surveys for 100’s of sites across the US. I've included a few articles below that you might find useful.

 

For more information please reach out to Colin J. Brigham, CIH, CSP, CPE, CPEA, CSPHP, FAIHA at cbrigham@1ssh.com, 610.524.5525 x 24.

Sincerely,
Colin J. Brigham, CIH, CSP, CPE, CPEA, CSPHP
VP Safety Management & Ergonomics


Workplace Noise Surveys, Testing and Evaluations

Workplace Noise Surveys, Testing and Evaluations

Why Measure Workplace Noise? Simply stated, noise is unwanted sound. It is well documented that as sound levels increase so does hearing loss. Additionally, noise can interfere with communication which can result in accidents (particularly around moving equipment). Workplace noise also contributes to reduced productivity and increased error rates. A workplace noise survey, testing or evaluation can help mitigate risk exposure due to noise.

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How Loud is too Loud?

How Loud is too Loud?

Noise is measured in units of sound pressure levels called decibels, named after Alexander Graham Bell, using A-weighted sound levels (dBA). The A-weighted sound levels closely match the perception of loudness by the human ear. Decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale which means that a small change in the number of decibels results in a huge change in the amount of noise and the potential damage to a person's hearing. OSHA sets legal limits on noise exposure in the workplace. These limits are based on a worker's time weighted average over an 8 hour day. With noise, OSHA's permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 90 dBA for all workers for an 8 hour day.

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Occupational Noise Exposure

Occupational Noise Exposure

Exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct this type of hearing loss. Short term exposure to loud noise can also cause a temporary change in hearing (your ears may feel stuffed up) or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus). These short-term problems may go away within a few minutes or hours after leaving the noise. However, repeated exposures to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Loud noise can create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication and concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents and injuries by making it difficult to hear warning signals.

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