Manufacturing and construction sites are typically noisy places. Prolonged exposure to loud, aggravating, and excessive sounds can have harmful effects on worker health. However, symptoms are not always immediate or obvious because noise-induced hearing loss typically happens gradually. Over time, excessive noise exposure may damage the tiny hair cells in the inner ear and lead to tinnitus (ringing of the ears), or partial or permanent hearing loss.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers are required to provide a “continuing, effective hearing conservation program” for employees who are exposed to potentially hazardous noise. To protect workers from hearing loss, “hearing conservation programs” (HCP) that aim to reduce noise, and check and promote hearing protection, are an important part of a workplace safety plan. Read more