High noise levels have the potential to result in permanent hearing loss. Hearing loss in considered one of the most significant and overlooked workplace injuries today. Permanent hearing loss tends to occur very slowly, so people don't notice the problem until it is too late. Thus it is important to reduce personal exposure to excessive noise as much as possible.
Examples of potential high-noise jobs at App State include using grounds keeping equipment, working in certain mechanical rooms, firearm target practice, working at Legends, and using or working around high-noise equipment such as many power tools, industrial dishwashers, etc.
A good rule of thumb is: if it is necessary to raise your voice for someone to hear you an arm's length away, the noise level is probably too high. If you think the noise level in your workplace might reach this level for more than a few minutes a day, contact the Industrial Hygiene Manager.
Any employees who are exposed to OSHA's noise action level must be included in the App State Hearing Conservation Program. OSHA's action level is the noise level at which most adults would be expected to experience permanent hearing loss. Specifically, the action level is an 8-hour Time-Weighted Average (TWA) of 85 decibels, A-weighted (dB(A)).
The Hearing Conservation Program consists of three main components:
- Noise monitoring.
- Baseline and annual audiometric (i.e., hearing) testing (conducted by an audiologist or a certified professional).
- Annual Hering Conservation Training which includes determining when hearing protection is required, proper selection and use of hearing protection, and proper care, maintenance and need for replacement of hearing protection.
How Can I Find Out More?
For questions regarding audiometric testing schedules, call 828-262-6838. Contact the Industrial Hygiene Manager for any other questions regarding noise or hearing conservation, including:
- Hearing protector samples, fittings, and training.
- Monitoring of noise levels.
- Methods and equipment to reduce noise levels.