Screenings occupational health occupational health management

Occupational Hearing Loss: The third most common ailment in the U.S.

About 12 percent of the U.S. working population suffer from hearing loss. Unlike the two leading conditions, hypertension and arthritis, hearing loss is typically caused in the workplace, and it is the responsibility to put protection and testing in place for their employees.

The Causes of Hearing Loss

24 percent of the hearing difficulty among U.S. workers is caused by occupational exposures, and it caused by either exposure to loud noises or ototoxic chemicals. These chemicals make the ears more susceptible to hearing loss. 10 million people are exposed to the ototoxic chemicals, and another 22 million are exposed to loud noises each year.

Monitoring for Hearing Loss

According to OSHA, the hearing conservation program requires employers to monitor noise exposure levels in a way that accurately identifies employees exposed to noise at or above 85 decibels (dB) averaged over 8 working hours, or an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA). Employers must monitor all employees whose noise exposure is equivalent to or greater than a noise exposure received in 8 hours where the noise level is constantly 85 dB. The exposure measurement must include all continuous, intermittent, and impulsive noise within an 80 dB to 130 dB range and must be taken during a typical work situation. This requirement is performance-oriented because it allows employers to choose the monitoring method that best suits each individual situation.

 

Testing for Hearing Loss

Workplace Safety Screenings’ certified medical examiner performs audiogram testing 24/7 at our facility to ensure that OSHA regulations are met, and your workers’ hearing is protected.

Audiometric testing measures an employee’s hearing loss over time. Employers whose employees are in danger of hearing loss because of their workplace environment must provide screening at the time of employment and at regular intervals afterwards. The audiometric testing program follow-up should indicate whether the employer's hearing conservation program is preventing hearing loss.

Health Management
left right
Recent Articles
Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce
The age diversity in the current workforce is the widest ever. It is now common for organizations to have employees working side-by-side with those...
HR
Read More
What's in the Cup? The hidden risks of a high-functioning alcoholic.
Do you perform drug tests as part of your pre-employment screening or have an ongoing screening program?  Many people hear the term “drug test” and...
Drug Testing
Read More
It's a long way down: The importance of Aerial Lift Safety.
Bucket trucks, as well as boom and scissor lifts, are certainly standard equipment for many industries, but the frequency with which they are used...
Safety
Read More