National Protect Your Hearing Month | October

September 29, 2023
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October is National Protect Your Hearing Month, an effort to build awareness that noise-induced hearing loss is nearly always preventable. Noise is part of everyday life, but at certain levels it can become hazardous.

Repeated exposures to sounds that are 85 A-weighted decibels (dBA) or higher can cause permanent hearing loss and are associated with other problems including:

  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Cardiovascular disease

High noise levels can also contribute to serious workplace accidents and injuries. Noise can reduce workers’ awareness of what is happening around them, including signals, alarms, and verbal warnings.

Reducing workplace noise below 85 dBA is the best way to prevent occupational hearing loss and other effects from hazardous noise. Additional benefits of reducing worker noise exposure include:

  • Less stress and fatigue
  • Increased productivity and better morale
  • Improved relations with management
  • Lower workers’ compensation costs

NIOSH offers a guide that will walk employers and safety professionals through the basics of creating a safer, quieter workplace and protecting workers from noise-induced hearing loss. In this guide, you can find:

  • The basics of defining and assessing noise
  • How to minimize noise exposure in the workplace through engineering and administrative controls
  • How to monitor workers for potential hearing loss
  • Best practices for hearing loss prevention programs
  • How to evaluate success and identify areas for improvements

To learn more, visit:

Credit: CDC, NIOSH

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