Industrial set up or environments such as factories and plants involve the usage of loud machinery and tools. While the hazardous noise coming from this area may not cause immediate damage, exposure to it adds up over time.
Hearing safetyis not a joke and should be considered a serious issue by every individual employer. Not having the right hearing safety equipment can cause long term damage and, in some cases, permanent hearing loss.
Hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities in the United States because there are no definite warning signs. This concludes to the fact that practicing workplace safety can help to prevent these problems. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHO), more than 30 million workers experience hazardous noise while on the job.
Another study by the Centers for Disease Control, about 44 percent of carpenters and 48 percent of plumbers experience workplace induced hearing loss. The fact is that hearing impairment costs the US government billions of dollars on social security disability and Workers Compensation settlements.
When billions of dollars are spent you can easily analyze the number of people affected by hearing loss. Since years workers have been facing this issue, a lot of manufactures have not been able to produce good hearing protection equipment. Hearing safety equipment is meant to protect the workers from hazardous noises.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, approximately 22 million U.S. industrial workers are exposed to loud levels of noise at work.Having said that, hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the US.
A health magazine reported that although short term hearing loss can be reversed with rest if exposure is sustained it can result in permanent hearing damage also. Hearing losscan be prevented if workers and employers follow all OSHA standards in the right manner.
Limiting Sound Exposure
Federal regulations have directed employers to provide hearing conservation devices to employees if they sustain noise levels over 90 dB SPL. It is important your employees know of this regulation and to know they can be protected.
A lot of companies do not provide workers with sufficient hearing loss devices and workers being unaware of this rule do not ask them which often leads to hearing loss/issues.
Below are the guidelines (appropriate time that should be spent under the categorized decibel), Every worker should be made aware of these guidelines to prevent short and permanent hearing loss;
- 90 dBSPL: 8 Hours
- 92 dBSPL: 6 Hours
- 95 dBSPL: 4 Hours
- 97 dBSPL: 3 Hours
- 100 dBSPL: 2 Hours
- 102 dBSPL:1.5 Hours
- 105 dBSPL: 1 Hour
- 110 dBSPL: 30 Minutes
- 115 dBSPL: 15 Minutes
Main Effects of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
When it comes to how an individual can reverse hearing loss, prevention is the only answer so far because currently, it is not curable. If you experience loud noise, for example; over 100 dB in close range, your hearing may get immediately compromised.
Tinnitus, the “ringing” you hear in your head, that can occur after loud sounds is an initial sign of hearing loss. Loud noises damage the structure of your hair and auditory nerves located in your ear.
Hearing loss occurs/happens when the auditory nerves are severely damaged. Because of the loss, the nerves cannot regenerate itself and causes the brain to lose communication with the auditory senses. Auditory nerves are significant as they carry the sound to your brain, where it processes the data. For example; when you hear the doorbell, your brain knows that you need to answer your front door.
OSHA Hearing Related Precautions for Employers
Under OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) employers must provide the following to every individual worker:
- Employers shall make hearing protectors available to all employees who are exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or greater at no cost to the employees. Hearing protectors shall be replaced as necessary.
- Employers are required to initially provide required hearing protection to affected employees, and hearing protectors must also be replaced as necessary.
- OSHA would in no way condone either the reckless or deliberate damaging or loss of hearing protectors by an employee. This type of conduct can and should be dealt with by the employer through counseling and a disciplinary program.
- If the employer complies with the following requirements of the Occupational Noise Exposure standard, employee loss of his/her hearing protectors on the job should be significantly minimized.
- Ensure that each employee is informed of instructions on the use and care of hearing protectors.
Workplace Hearing Safety Tips
- Take charge of your hearing in the workplace by practicing hearing safety and monitoring your exposure to extremely loud noises.
- Do not forget to wear protective ear wear whenever you are working in a loud environment, such as on the factory line or in a production environment.
- Try to decrease the length and exposure of the noise you do experience.
- Always wear hearing conservative devices, such as earplugs and earmuffs. Before buying an earplug make sure that the device has an airtight seal, which ensures that the loud noises will not penetrate your eardrums.
First Source Wireless Offers
We provide the finest and good quality hearing prevention equipment, you can check the following headsets and radios.
The ComTac VI Headsets are designed to be worn 100% of the time in noisy environments. The headsets offer various configuration options that can result in different NRR. The Noise Reduction Rating can range between 20-23 Decibels.
The KNG2 is equipped with loud, crisp audio using a large, enhanced speaker and has a bright colorized screen with an industry large display area.
Why Choose First Source Wireless?
- Trusted Source/ Brand
- Hearing Loss Prevention
- Variety of Products
- GSA Approved Products
- Branded Products
- Free Shipping
About the Author
Kyle Bryant is a Marketing Intern at First Source Wireless. With his experience, he has helped improve workplaces from irreversible hearing damage by provide information on 3M headsets. In his free time, Kyle enjoys spending time with friends and attending classes at University.