Proven Strategies To Prevent Work-related Hearing Loss

Nearly 30 million workers annually are exposed to noise levels that can result in significant hearing loss. Excessive noise in the workplace, not only adversely affects hearing, but it can also create safety hazards is workers are not able to hear or heed warning signs due to noise levels. Additionally, occupational noise exposure can increase psychological stress in the workplace. Use these tips to reduce or eliminate workplace noise:
  • Maintain and lubricate machinery and equipment to ensure the quietest possible operation
  • Operate noisy machinery during shifts when employees are not present if possible or when fewer employees are exposed
  • Enclose or isolate the noise source by placing a barrier such as sound walls or curtains between the noise source and employees
  • Use Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs) such as earmuffs and ear plugs
  • Arrange the employee work area a suitable distance from noisy machinery. Noise is decreased by 6 dBA every time the distance between the worker and noise source is doubled in an open-space environment
  • Allow employees to seek relief in a quiet area where their hearing can recover
  • Choose low-noise machinery and tools when possible