Back to Basics is a weekly feature that highlights important but possibly overlooked information that any EHS professional should know. This week, we examine noise exposure and OSHA’s recommendations for exposure reduction. All of the human senses must be protected from hazards and damage in the workplace, including hearing. According to OSHA, the CDC estimates […]
As a teenager growing up on a farm, I rode loud tractors nearly every day. Listening to the tractor noise was no fun, so I wore headphones blaring loud heavy-metal music to cover it up. My father was also a dentist. So in addition to the farm work, I often helped him out in his […]
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Region V office in Chicago recently established a regional emphasis program (REP) of targeted outreach and enforcement of the agency’s occupational noise exposure standard (29 CFR 1910.95) in Midwest manufacturing facilities. OSHA Region V includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. “Earning a living […]
Are your employees at risk for noise-induced hearing loss due to high levels of noise in the workplace? You need to monitor noise levels to be sure.
A large number of noise-exposed workers within the services industry sector—the largest sector in U.S. industry—have an elevated risk of hearing loss, according to new research from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The study of hearing loss in workers across a wide variety of service industries was recently published in the […]
Medications could one day prevent noise-induced hearing loss, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH researchers recently contributed articles for a special issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America exploring the potential for “otoprotective” pharmaceuticals to protect ears from noise damage.
Hearing loss is prevalent in workers in the mining and oil and gas extraction sectors, researchers have found. At least 25% of workers in many industries and as much as 30% of workers in others had hearing loss, according to a recently published report.
Affecting about 48 million people in the United States, hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities among American workers. The effects of hearing loss on the workforce can be far-reaching, resulting in lost productivity, lower wages, and increased safety risks.
The most common cause of workplace hearing loss is exposure to damaging levels of noise, so hearing conservation efforts in the workplace are almost exclusively focused on noise control. However, some chemical exposures can either directly damage hearing or act synergistically with noise exposure to increase hearing damage.