Tools and resources to help employers achieve their hearing conservation program goals
Employers are required to provide a “continuing, effective hearing conservation program” for employees who are exposed to hazardous noise, according to U.S. OSHA, but what does that really mean? Whether you are setting up a hearing conservation program for the first time or looking to improve an existing program, 3M can help.
When you’re committed to hearing loss prevention, your employees are more likely to share your dedication and protect their hearing. With world-class, proven detection, protection, communication and validation products, 3M Hearing Solutions is the partner you’ll want with you every step of the way.
Accurate measurement of employee exposure to hazardous noise is essential. Conducting noise surveys using 3M Detection Solutions can help you identify who is at risk, determine who needs to be included in your program and select the proper controls and protective equipment to help reduce the risks.
Certain operations and machinery create high noise levels. But do they have to? Equipment and processes can be designed or altered to be quieter, reducing the number of employees in your conservation program.
Hearing protectors play an important role in hearing conservation. They must be comfortable, fit properly and provide adequate protection for the environment. Compatibility with other PPE and the workers’ ability to communicate must also be considered. Including individual fit testing of earplugs and earmuffs in your program can help you educate your employees on the importance of hearing protection and validate the Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) achieved by each worker.
Are your employees showing symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss? It’s important to routinely use standardized measurement procedures to check their hearing to detect and record changes, so you can take steps to prevent permanent hearing loss.
Because noise-induced hearing loss usually happens gradually and the symptoms are not always apparent, it is vital to educate employees on the effects of exposure to loud noise and train them to properly use hearing protection. You may be able to improve the success of your hearing loss prevention efforts by strengthening worker training and motivation programs.
Keeping confidential, accurate and up-to-date records of noise surveys, actions taken, instrument calibrations, audiometric tests, attenuation ratings and training helps you manage and audit your program. And helps protect your company and your employees in the long run.
Make sure your hearing conservation program is working with regular program evaluations that include employee feedback, responsibility reviews and cost analysis. This will identify trends, magnify problem areas and drive improvement.
To access the full list of Hearing Conservation Key Terms that are covered across the Center for Hearing Conservation, download the 3M Center for Hearing Conservation Glossary.
As you explore the seven elements of occupational hearing conservation you will find information and resources in each of these categories:
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