In 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established a Regional Emphasis Program to raise awareness about hearing loss prevention. OSHA’s Chicago office created the program to focus on Midwestern manufacturing employers, but workers all over the United States face similar concerns.
Hearing Loss Is a Persistent Danger at Many Workplaces
When people think about hazardous conditions that employees may face on the job, they don’t usually think about loud noise. Hearing loss is a much bigger problem than many people realize.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 10% of workers are exposed to noise levels that are so high that they can cause hearing loss. A majority of workers are exposed to moderate noise levels on a regular basis. Despite the risks, a 2019 Occupational Requirements Survey by the BLS found that more than 50% of manufacturing employees across the United States don’t use personal protective equipment to prevent hearing loss.
OSHA sets guidelines related to hearing loss prevention. If the average noise level over a period of eight working hours is 85 decibels or higher, an employer is required to implement a hearing conservation program. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that noise level is comparable to the sound of a leaf blower or city traffic heard from inside a vehicle.
Provide Personal Protective Equipment to Your Workers to Prevent Hearing Loss
If your employees are exposed to high noise levels on the job, your business has a duty to take measures to protect them from hearing loss. Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) is a simple and effective way to prevent damage to your workers’ hearing.
Providing PPE doesn’t just benefit workers. When employees get injured on the job, that can result in substantial losses to the business. Injured workers may be forced to take time off to recover, which can result in lost productivity and reduced profits.
Employees who suffer hearing loss can file worker’s compensation claims and may be unable to continue working at all. A company can lose employees with valuable skills and expertise and may also be required to pay financial penalties for failing to adhere to safety regulations.
UniShield sells a wide range of personal protective equipment that is designed to prevent many common on-the-job injuries. We offer several types of earplugs, including ones that are attached to cords and ones that can be dispensed from a station. Look at the many forms of hearing protection we offer and place your order today.