Hearing Conservation

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

·      Recordkeeping

·      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.