Hearing Conservation programs are designed to protect employees from the hazards of excessive noise exposure on the job.
- To identify a population of noise “exposed” employees, i.e., those whose typical exposure to workplace noise equals or exceeds the action level as set by OSHA, or a level equivalent to a continuous 8-hour exposure to 85 dB(A). These employees are enrolled in the Hearing Conservation Program.
- To identify and demarcate work areas in which the sound level is high enough to contribute substantially to excessive exposure at the level set by OSHA.
- To reduce workplace exposure to noise through the use of hearing-protection devices like ear plugs or ear muffs.
- To annually assess the hearing acuity of ” exposed” employees in order to detect very early noise-induced hearing loss, so that progressive loss can be halted.
- To ensure that all “exposed” employees are trained in the effects of excess noise on human hearing, and that each employee knows how to use hearing-protection devices correctly.