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Workers at High Risk of Hearing Loss

Monday, April 29, 2019
Workers at High Risk of Hearing Loss

 

U.S. Workers at High Risk of Hearing Loss
Colin J. Brigham

Today I would like to share some information on Occupational Noise Exposure . 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 over 100 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


Occupational Noise Exposure

Occupational Noise Exposure

Twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. Last year, U.S. business paid more than $1.5 million in penalties for not protecting workers from noise. While it's impossible to put a number to the human toll of hearing loss, an estimated $242 million is spent annually on workers' compensation for hearing loss disability.

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Health Effects

Health Effects

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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Workplace Noise Surveys, Testing and Evaluations

Workplace Noise Surveys, Testing and Evaluations

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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