If you want to run a business, you want it to be successful, right? Your employees are an important part of that. When they are valued, they work hard and help your company meet your goals.
Part of your job as an employer is making sure your employees are safe. Depending on the work your company does, your employees could be at risk for occupational hearing loss, hearing loss caused by dangerous noise exposure in a work environment.
We want to help you and your employees stay safe. Here’s everything you need to know about hearing loss in the workplace and what you should do to protect your employees.
What causes hearing loss?
Occupational hearing loss is specifically caused by noise exposure in the workplace. There’s currently around 22 million people exposed to dangerous noise levels at their place of work. In most instances, this exposure is unavoidable. It is, however, up to you and your employees to stay protected so it doesn’t damage your hearing.
Noise exposure causes hearing loss when the noise registers at or above 85 decibels. In other words, if you can’t hear your coworkers next to you, you probably should be taking measures to protect your hearing.
What does OSHA say about noise-induced hearing loss?
If the place you work is a loud environment, you need to take steps to keep your hearing protected. Otherwise, you’ll experience hearing loss from noise exposure over extended periods of time.
OSHA, Occupational and Safety Health Association, is part of the Department of Labor, and sets standards that ensure working men and women work in safe and
healthy environments. According to their standards, you and your employees are legally allowed to be exposed to noise measuring 90 decibels for eight hours. In those situations, you need to wear earplugs or earmuffs.
Your workplace should also take measures to reduce the amount of noise and those exposed to it. Earmuffs and plugs can help, but noise controls should be your first line of defense. Noise controls take different forms: from safety glass over loud equipment to sound-absorbing materials surrounding equipment, noise can be absorbed and kept from reaching damaging levels.
Your workplace should also utilize engineering controls. These can be low-noise tools and machinery, maintaining and lubricating equipment, barriers between the noise source and employee, and enclosing loud equipment to reduce noise. All of these controls can help keep damaging noise exposure to a minimum.
What should you do?
Now that you know some of the requirements and what’s expected for your business or wherever you work, you need to take steps to make sure your workplace is compliant and your hearing is safe. We can help.
Your first step is to call us at Associates in Hearing, and we will schedule an appointment so our team can come out to your workplace and measure the noise levels. We will be able to identify the severity of the noise level and if you and your
employees need hearing protection. We will even be able to screen your employees for potential noise-induced hearing loss.
After we’ve screened and tested, we will make sure you and your employees are educated on what can be done to keep their hearing protected in the future. Our team will also come back every year to make sure your workplace remains within OSHA’s regulations and screen your employees for hearing loss.
A successful business should have employees that know they are cared for. Start caring for the safety of your employees and your workplace by making sure the noise levels are safe and your team is healthy. Call us today!