Noise-induced hearing loss has been called the most common permanent and preventable occupational injury. According to U.S. federal law, it is the responsibility of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] to regulate permissible noise exposure levels in the workplace. The OSHA CFR 1910.95 regulation requires employers first to utilize "engineering controls" to reduce noise levels in their work environments. Should these controls fail to reduce noise to acceptable limits, the regulation states that "personal protective equipment shall be provided and used to reduce sound levels."
Employers are also required to implement an "effective hearing conservation program" whenever employee noise exposure levels equal or exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average sound level (TWA) of 85 dB. As part of the conservation program, sound levels must be monitored and documented, and noise-exposed employees must receive annual training and audiometric testing, and be "fitted with hearing protectors, trained in their use and care, and required to use them."
Learn more about what you can do to implement a Hearing Conservation Program that puts people first from the information below.
NIOSH - Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention