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Author: admin, 13.05.2014
Noise induced hearing loss is caused by sounds that are too loud – it can be caused by loud sounds that last only for a brief time (an explosion, for instance) or by continuous exposure to loud sounds (loud workplace, for instance). Although everyone has been exposed to harmful noises at some point in their lives, some people are more vulnerable than others are, especially if they work in an environment that is loud. According to regulations, the employer is obliged to assess the risk to employees and take action to reduce any noise exposure that can result in occupational deafness.
Employees should not be kept in the dark either – they should be informed about the risks, and they also play an active role – they have to undergo proper training, and they have to be properly trained on how to avoid the risks. The noise action levels are levels of noise in decibels that should not be exceeded in a working environment. The employees must also be informed about their duties under the regulations of 2005 (learning how to minimise the risk, proper usage and storage of hearing protection and equipment, when to use it). Once these regulations are in place, the workplace will be a safe environment, no matter how loud it might get.
If you missed OSHA's November stakeholder meeting on preventing occupational hearing loss, you can now read about it online.
The November event was held to provide a public forum and gather information on the best practices for noise reduction in the workplace.

OSHA held this stakeholder meeting as part of its commitment to work with stakeholders on approaches to prevent hearing loss. A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.
Hearing loss has long been a serious problem among construction Laborers, and last year, the LHSFNA Occupational Safety and Health Division worked successfully in the American National Standards Institute Z10 (construction) committee to win adoption of a voluntary standard to prevent hearing loss in the industry. To support the OSH Division’s campaign to reduce workplace noise and prevent hearing loss, Graphic Designer Bryan Fowler created two new hearing conservation posters. Both posters are available to LIUNA members and participating contractors through the LHSFNA online publications catalogue. People usually notice it when they are unable to understand what someone is saying to them when they are in a noisy room or on the phone or when they notice that they have to turn up the volume of the TV. Luckily, major steps towards a safer work environment have already been taken, with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations from 2005 being one of the latest achievements.
If employees work in an environment that might damage their hearing, the employer has to provide hearing protection, thereby avoiding workplace hearing loss.
It is the duty of every employer to make sure that those noise action levels are not exceeded.

The meeting included discussions on personal protective equipment, hearing conservation programs and engineering controls. The meeting had 30 participants, representing industry, trade organizations, academia, unions, and government agencies, as well as consultants, attorneys, and other parties. Even though a person might not notice that their environment or activities are damaging their hearing, they could end up having issues with hearing in the future.
The purpose of the meeting was to elicit the views of employers, workers, and noise control and safety and health professionals about the hazards of occupational exposure to noise and how best to control them. Even though that damage might be only temporary, it could still have a negative effect on hearing many years later. The limit that should not be exceeded is set to 87 decibels with peak pressure at 140 decibels.

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