Hearing Conservation Overall
This presentation will provide information on "why" we need to put programs in place to protect the hearing health of employees. Included will be discussion of both the benefits to the employee as well as benefits to the employer. As part of the "why" discussion, participants will learn about the auditory and non-auditory effects of hearing loss on the individual. Included will be a brief introduction to the regulatory requirements as well as what might make a Hearing Conservation or Hearing Loss Prevention Program most effective. There will be some discussion of the role of CAOHC in ensuring that good training occurs for the Occupational Hearing Conservationists who carry out the daily functions in these programs.
- Differentiate between auditory and non-auditory effects caused by hazardous noise exposure.
- Estimate the prevalence of noise induced hearing loss among different noise-exposed populations.
- Recognize major policy makers related to hearing conservation in the United States.
This presentation will discuss regulations that define employer responsibilities surrounding hearing conservation programs have structured company policies and practices for decades. Too, these regulations provide a starting place for employers who aim to prevent occupational noise-induced hearing loss. This presentation will provide an overview of regulatory requirements pertaining to hearing conservation programs as well as propose best practices supported by CAOHC, NHCA. NIOSH and other professional organizations.
- List three examples of best practice policies that are considered to be more protective than the OSHA regulatory requirements.
- Differentiate between a Standard Threshold Shift and a recordable hearing shift according to US OSHA federal requirements.
- Name two employer responsibilities that are required by federal regulations when the permissible exposure level is exceeded.
This presentation will provide an overview of the measurement and control of noise, including an introduction to that dear friend/archenemy of hearing loss prevention (the decibel), the equipment we use to measure noise (sound level meters, dosimeters, octave band analyzers, oh my!), how we can reduce noise exposures, and how all this relates to protecting people's hearing.
- Identify workers who may be at risk for excessive noise exposure.
- Quantify the risk – Job Hazard Analysis.
- Identify dominant noise sources for Engineering Noise Control.
- Identify quiet areas for Administrative Noise Control.
- Understand the noise characteristics for the selection of hearing protection devices.
- Understand worker environment if a change in their hearing occurs.
- Demonstrate how to conduct sound level checks within the audiometric test booth.
Monitoring audiometry is a key element of the hearing loss prevention program. The audiogram is used to identify significant changes in an employees hearing and to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the hearing loss prevention program. This session will provide participants with in-depth knowledge of different types of audiograms used in monitoring audiometry programs, how to read the audiogram, and provide a broad understanding of information the pure-tone air conduction audiogram provides to the employee, employer, and hearing health professional. Common audiometric configurations and their associated illnesses as well as problem audiograms and how to recognize them will also be discussed.
- Describe different types of audiograms used in a hearing conservation program.
- Recognize a problem audiogram.
- Identify different audiometric configurations and common findings associated with each.
- Explain the limits of information that can be inferred by a pure tone air conduction audiogram alone.
- Explain the audiogram in terms of frequency and intensity.
While the ideal solution to a noisy environment is to remove the noise, in many situations, it simply isn't possible. When this is the case, it's not enough to rely solely on compliance with regulations to reduce risk. We need to educate employees thoroughly on the benefits of hearing conservation and the crucial steps they should take to safeguard their hearing. Employees must participate actively for hearing conservation to be successful; we need to engage and interest them in their own protection. Effective hearing conservation cannot be achieved without the combined efforts of employers, supervisors, and the employees themselves. By focusing on the reasons behind hearing conservation, and providing some different approaches, we can better reach these individuals to make them a part of the solution to preventable hearing loss.
- Define OSHA requirements for education and training in a hearing conservation program.
- Describe how the factors of commitment, communication, and cooperation relate to a successful hearing loss prevention program.
- Apply the principles of motivational interviewing to employee interactions to elicit "behavior change" that contributes to positive health outcomes and improved communication.
As hearing conservationists, we can measure, assess, document, and counsel, but when it comes to effective intervention, an important tool, sometimes our only tool, is a hearing protector. Therefore, it behooves us to be knowledgeable about hearing protection devices and how to optimize their use in hearing conservation programs. This presentation discusses the types of hearing protectors available today, the requirements for testing and labeling with a Noise Reduction Rating, and the differences between NRRs and attenuation achieved in practice by individuals who use them. Of equal importance will be a discussion of the influence of hearing protectors on the ability to communicate in noise. Finally, the rewards and benefits gained by implementing hearing protector fit testing as a recommended best practice will be highlighted.
- Identify the available types of hearing protection devices and describe their respective advantages and disadvantages.
- Explain the meaning and value of the EPA’s Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) and differentiate it from alternative methods of predicting effective employee protection.
- Explain the benefits of hearing protector fit testing and evaluate the pros and cons of the various systems available to accomplish that process.
Identification of work-related hearing loss has long been one of the most complicated and controversial areas of government-mandated injury/illness recordkeeping. Effective in 2000, MSHA provided a new definition of "reportable" hearing loss in its revised noise standard, Part 62. OSHA also defined new criteria for recording occupational hearing loss with its recent revision to 29 CFR 1904 (effective in 2003, with a separate Form 300 column in effect January 1, 2004). This workshop presentation will focus on the basic requirements of MSHA and OSHA recordkeeping regulations, as well as implications for professional review of audiograms and determination of work-relatedness. Although compliance with recordkeeping rules is important to the ultimate goal of tracking incidence of work-related hearing loss, emphasis will also be placed on best practices for an effective hearing loss prevention program.
- Define basic requirements of United States recordkeeping regulations, as well as implications for professional review of audiograms and determination of work-relatedness.
- Summarize the recordability decision-making process.
- Compare case studies on recordability.