Hearing Conservation Manual

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Table of Contents

ISBN 978-0-9863038-0-7

5th Edition

The CAOHC Hearing Conservation Manual is written by the top subject matter experts in the hearing conservation field. It offers valuable information to develop and guide efforts of an effective hearing conservation programs and is essential to any member of the occupational hearing conservation team.

The manual was developed and refined over many years - it is the culmination of best practice measures providing practical information through charts, graphs, standards, descriptive teachings, definitions, tips, techniques and more.

The last printing of the Hearing Conservation Manual 5th edition is the culmination of an enormous team effort. Chapters were written by subject matter experts in their specific fields of expertise and reviewed by CAOHC constituent groups, including industrial hygienists, military audiologists, noise-control engineers, occupational audiologists, occupational health nurses, occupational health physicians, otolaryngologists and safety engineers.

If you are a member of a hearing conservation team such as an occupational hearing conservationists, audiologists, physicians, industrial hygienists, acoustical engineers, safety engineers, and others – this manual will assist you in the front-line defense against hearing loss in your workers.

Updated From Previous Editions: 

  • FULL COLOR text for all chapters
  • FOUR ADDITIONAL chapters
  • COMPREHENSIVE Glossary of Terms
  • ALL Chapters link to OHC Standardized Exam Blueprint
  • FIVE ADDITIONAL appendix documents


$80 each
$55 each for Course Directors (CDs receive free shipping when ordering 5 or more copies at one time)

About the Authors

The number of individuals experts that have contributed to the development of this manual is very significant. Special recognition is given to Dr. Alice Suter, editor of the 4th edition of the Hearing Conservation Manual, which this version is based upon. Originally planned as an update, the 5th edition evolved into a major revision. Individual chapter authors and contributors that were subject matter experts in their respective fields include:

Audiology: Richard Danielson, PhD, CPS/A; Robert Dietz, AuD, CCC-A, MBA; Thomas Hutchison, MA, MHA; Ted Madison, MA, CCCA; Kirsten McCall, AuD, CCC-A, CPS/A; Laurie Wells, AuD, FAAA, CPS/A; Theresa Schulz, PhD, LtCol, USAF (ret); Timothy Swisher, MA, CCC-A, FAAA

Occupational Health Nursing: Diane DeGaetano, BSN, RN, COHN-S, FAA; Madeleine Kerr, PhD, RN

Occupational Medicine: D. Bruce Kirchner, MD, MPH, CPS/A

Otology: Jim Crawford, LTC, MD, CPS/A; Robert Dobie, MD; Richard Kopke, MD, FACS

Noise Engineering: Jessica Arellano, COHC; Robert Bruce, PE, INCE Bd Cert.; Noel Hart, INCE; Charlie Moritz, MS, INCE Bd Cert.; Kim Riegel, PhD; Ron Schaible, CIH, CSP

Industrial Hygiene: Chandran Achutan, PhD

In addition to the above, contributors and reviewers included:

Cindy Bloyer, MS, CCC-A
Antony Joseph, AuD, PhD, CPS/A
Elaine Brown, RN, BS, COHN-S/CM, COHC
Scott Lake, BSME, MSE, COHC
Pam duPont, MS, CCC-A, CPS/A
David Lee, CIH
Eric Evenson, MD, MPH, FACOEM
J. Andy Merkley, AuD, CCC-A, CPS/A
Jeffrey Goldberg
John Oghalai, MD
Nancy Green, AuD, CPS/A
Richard Stepkin, MS, CCC-A
Lee Hager

About the Editors:

Theresa Y. Schulz, PhD, LtCol, USAF (ret)
Dr. Schulz is Hearing Conservation Manager for Honeywell Safety Products.  Theresa is a Past-President and has been an active member of National Hearing Conservation Association for almost 30 years.  She is also a past Chair of the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation.  She is a fellow in the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and a member of the Air Force Audiology Association (AFAA). 

"When I volunteered to edit a new version of the CAOHC Manual, my motivation was to follow in the footsteps of my mentor and friend Alice Suter.  I very much respect the work that Alice has done (and continues to do) and the legacy that she leaves for us in the Hearing Conservation community.  I was delighted when Tom Hutchison volunteered to co-edit.  He was just retiring from his position with the Navy and said he’d have time to work on the project.  Well, neither of us imagined what we were in for!  And I mean that in the most positive way. 

In 2010, we originally projected this project to take a year and the scope was to simply provide updates to the 4th Edition which Alice had written in 2002.  The project evolved into essentially a complete re-write with new authors taking the outstanding foundation that Alice has provided and making each Chapter their own. 

This new 5th Edition would not be possible without Alice giving us permission to begin with her excellent 4th Edition as our foundation.  The extensive revisions and new material made us question assumptions, look for answers, and focus on what the Occupational Hearing Conservation really needs as the CAOHC credential requirements have evolved. 

During the long home stretch (over a year), the editorial team met several times a week at 6:30 AM Central/7:30 Eastern.  The process of working over this extended period of time with Tom and Kim Breitbach (and then Mary van Beusekom) provided and strengthened friendships that I will cherish forever.  The experience only confirms my long-held belief that “opportunities are everywhere” and that although opportunity is often disguised as hard work, the gain from those opportunities far outweighs the work."

Thomas L. Hutchison, MA, MHA
Mr. Hutchison recently retired as the Hearing Conservation Program Manager, Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine.  Tom has worked in both the private sector as well as within the Dept. of the Navy and Army in the U.S. and overseas.  He was a representative to the Dept. of Defense Hearing Conservation Working Group and has served on the executive boards of both the Military Audiology Association (MAA) and the Academy of Federal Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology.  In 2014 he concluded a ten year term on the CAOHC Council, serving on a variety of committees and working groups within CAOHC. 

"My active involvement with the re-write of the CAOHC Hearing Conservation Manual began at an annual Council meeting in 2010.  I had already been on the Council for a number of years and the need to update the 2002, 4th Edition had been, it seemed, discussed at every meeting I’d attended.  I was nearing retirement from my full-time job and figured I could devote some of my newly expected free-time to the task.  Theresa Schulz had also enthusiastically volunteered to be a co-editor and, during our first discussions, we agreed the endeavor would be personally rewarding for both of us and, should be, reasonably straight forward and “simple”. 

As we expected the experience was highly rewarding but the process certainly was not straight forward nor simple.  Thankfully, due to the excellent work done by Alice Suter and other contributor’s, as well as the editing by Elliot Berger, on the 4th edition, our task was based on an excellent product.  We might still be only half-way through this 5th edition had it not been for their work on the 4th

This has been a team project from the beginning. I have been awestruck by the depth of knowledge, enthusiasm and willingness of so many in the CAOHC community to contribute.  It’s true that Theresa and I, along with Kim Breitbach, CAOHC’s Executive Directory and Mary Van Beusekom, our professional editor, logged hundreds of hours on early morning phone calls, traveled for periodic face-to-face meetings, individually wrote and re-wrote entire sections, debated, organized and rearranged, but this edition would not have been possible without a host of volunteer authors, contributors and technical reviewers.  So, though I do miss the team, it is with a sense of pride and accomplishment that the 5th edition of the Hearing Conservation Manual is ready for introduction." 

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