It’s National Protect Your Hearing Month

OSHA and the American Academy of Audiology encourage workers to learn more about preventing hearing loss

Interested in Safety?

Get Safety articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Safety + Get Alerts

The ability to hear is something most people probably take for granted until it’s gone. October is National Protect Your Hearing Month, an important reminder to take steps to preserve your hearing.

According to the American Academy of Audiology, over 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. Over 18 million of those people are younger than 65. Noise-induced hearing loss is on the rise in the U.S. Our ears are exposed to higher levels of noise than ever before.

OSHA reports that every year approximately 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise. Loud noise can also create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication and concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents by making it difficult to hear alarms and warning signals.

Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent, but the good news is that it’s also 100 percent preventable.

OSHA’s website outlines engineering and administrative controls that should be in place to allow employees to avoid exposure to levels of noise that inflict damage to their hearing.

Examples of effective but inexpensive engineering controls include:

  • Choose low-noise tools and machinery
  • Maintain and lubricate machinery and equipment (e.g., oil bearings)
  • Place a barrier between the noise source and employee (e.g., sound walls or curtains)
  • Enclose or isolate the noise source

Other controls and information on creating an effective hearing conservation program are found on OSHA’s webpage for Occupational Noise Exposure.

When you spend time around loud equipment, protecting your hearing should be an important part of your safety practices.



Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.