Exposure to excessive noise at work is one of the most common workplace hazards. The National Institute For Occupational Safety And Health (NIOSH) estimates that 30 million Americans are exposed to hazardous levels of noise in their workplace.
Effects of exposure to excessive noise are bad for both the worker and employer. They include hearing loss, physical and psychological stress, reduced productivity, higher rates of absenteeism, and increased risk of accidents due to hampered communication.
OSHA requires that all employers assess if workers are exposed to high levels of noise in their work environments. If employers determine that workers are exposed to high levels of noise, it’s their responsibility to reengineer the work environment to reduce noise exposure or implement a hearing conservation program.
OSHA’s Noise And Hearing Conservation website page has a wealth of additional information on this topic. Resources available include OSHA standards as they relate to excessive noise exposure and the health effects of continued exposure to excessive levels of noise in the workplace.
If you have questions about how to conduct a excessive noise assessment for your workplace or designing a hearing loss prevention program, feel free to give us a call at 864.905.7835.
photo credit: Day 94: Earplugs via photopin (license)