Hearing Conservation Training
Hearing conservation programs strive to prevent initial occupational hearing loss, preserve and protect remaining hearing, and equip workers with the knowledge and hearing protection devices necessary to safeguard themselves. Employers are required to measure noise levels; provide free annual hearing exams, hearing protection, and training; and conduct evaluations of the adequacy of the hearing protectors in use (unless changes made to tools, equipment, and schedules result in worker noise exposure levels that are less than the 85 dBA). Research indicates that workplaces with appropriate and effective hearing conservation programs have higher levels of worker productivity and a lower incidence of absenteeism.
Exposure to noise above 90dB is common in most manufacturing settings at least in specific areas of noisy machines or where certain tools, such as hand grinders are in use. Good planning and a Osha hearing conservation training program can prevent problems caused by excessive noise.
First a complete audit needs to be done throughout the plant. Where needed, employers can reduce noise though noise-control equipment such as sound barriers and mufflers. Proper personal protective devices such as ear muffs and ear plugs need to be worn by employees, too. Proper training and awareness of company rules are necessary for the program to be successful.