Protect Your Workers With a Hearing Conservation Program
Do you know how to protect your worker’s hearing? If your workplace has a lot of loud noise, you need a hearing conservation program. An effective hearing conservation program should include the following elements:
· Training and Information
· Management Leadership and Employee Involvement
· Noise Control Measures
· Audiometric Testing
· Noise Exposure Monitoring/Worksite Analysis
· Employee Notifications
· Hearing Protector Evaluation
When developing a hearing conservation program, an experienced industrial hygienist can help you decide which workers need personal noise exposure monitoring and the most cost-effective way to conduct a noise survey. The noise survey results are then used when determining the allocation of resources for training, medical surveillance and control measures.
The time-weighted averages (TWAs) obtained from the survey should be recorded on each representative workers’ audiogram. This may be useful in the future if an audiologist is asked to determine if a hearing loss is work-related. The industrial hygienist uses the TWA to evaluate hearing protectors used in the workplace. Recommendations are made when choosing between ear muffs, custom earplugs, electronic headsets, foam plugs, etc.