HEARING CONSERVATION PROGRAM
Axiom Medical helps employers develop and implement effective hearing conservation programs and monitoring when information indicates that an employee’s exposure may equal or exceed the OSHA requirement.
OSHA’s Noise Exposure Standard states that an employer shall administer a continuing, effective hearing conservation and protection program whenever employee noise exposures equal or exceed:
- An 8-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) sound level of 85 decibels
- Measured on the A scale (slow response)
- Or, equivalently, a dose of fifty percent
Our service program is aimed at helping you stay compliant with OSHA’s Noise Exposure Standards.
Axiom Medical’s Hearing Conservation Program:
Our program includes:
- Complete Hearing Monitoring and Conservation Program
- Baseline audiograms, annual audiograms
- Evaluation of audiograms
- Follow-up procedures as necessary
Our goal is to:
- Protect your company’s most important resource – your employees
- Provide a safe and healthful workplace
- Compliance with governmental regulations
Is a Hearing Conservation Program Required?
The human body, unfortunately, reacts to specific injuries drastically. One of those injuries is hearing loss, often caused by a loud noise at the workplace or during accidents. Occupational noise exposure is the leading cause of hearing loss in employees working in the construction, rail, and manufacturing industry. OSHA mandates employers protect their employees from hazardous noise by providing hearing protection and feasible controls. If these measures are not adequate to reduce noise to safe levels, employers may need to take further actions and implement a hearing conservation program.
Axiom Medical’s OSHA-compliant hearing monitoring and conservation program is designed to protect workers often exposed to significant occupational noise at worksites from hearing impairment or potential hearing loss. Certain workers are exposed to such noise during their work at specific worksites or over their entire working lifetimes. A hearing conservation employee program is highly recommended for such workers.
What is Occupational Noise Exposure?
Workers exposed to any worksite noise over the defined limit of noise levels of 85 dB are affected by occupational noise exposure. Noise-induced hearing loss can be dangerous and permanent and is one of the most pervasive occupational health problems. Workplace exposure to high levels of noise may also affect the overall health of your employees. As the extent of damage depends primarily on the noise intensity and duration, employers must protect their employees by providing them with proper protective gear to avoid noise-induced hearing loss and permanent acoustic damage.
What is Audiometric Testing?
A hearing protection and conservation program also involves audiometric testing to monitor an employee’s hearing over time. This provides employers an opportunity to educate employees about their hearing loss and the importance of protecting it. To stay compliant with OSHA’s occupational noise exposure, employers must establish and maintain a hearing protection and conservation program with audiometric testing. The testing’s essential elements include baseline and annual audiograms, employee training, and follow-up procedures as deemed necessary. Audiometric testing must be available at no cost to all employees exposed to an action level of 85 dB or above for a short- or long-term period.
When Should an Employer Provide Hearing Protectors?
Employers must provide protective hearing equipment to all workers exposed to 8-hour TWA noise levels or occupational noise of 85 dB or more. This mandatory requirement ensures that employees who have to work at noisy worksites have access to protectors before experiencing any hearing impairment or loss.
Employees must wear hearing protectors:
■ From the time of first exposure to 8-hour TEA noise levels of 85 dB or above and any period exceeding 6-months from that time until they receive their baseline audiogram results.
■ If they demonstrate their susceptibility to noise for existing health conditions.
■ If they are exposed to more than 90 dB of noise, which is over the permissible exposure limit over an 8-hour TWA.
What Types of Protective Gears Should be Provided?
To meet OSHA’s guidelines, employers must provide employees with a selection of hearing plugs and hearing muff, as protective gear. Employees may try, select, and decide, with the help of a trained hearing protective-gear personnel, the type protector, and the most suitable for their working environment.
The protector selected should be comfortable to wear and offer sufficient protection to the employees to prevent hearing loss. All approved hearing protectors must adequately reduce the noise level and meet the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) to meet the noise reduction under ideal laboratory conditions. The employer may adjust the NRR based on their employees’ actual working environment to reflect noise reduction as required.
When is a Hearing Conservation Program Required?
Workplace hearing conservation programs require employers to monitor worksite noise exposure levels to identify the occupational noise exposure for employees at work accurately. This program helps employers identify if the noise levels above 85 decibels (dB) averaged over an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA). This program offers an easy way to monitor all employees whose noise exposure is equal to or greater than the workplace’s permissible level defined by OSHA.
Axiom Medical’s Hearing Conservation is a performance-oriented program aimed at helping both employers and employees by offering them customized monitoring methods, training, and hearing tests suitable for their situation.
Our program ensures:
- Employers must repeat workplace noise monitoring based on production changes, which may increase noise exposure.
- More employees participate in the program and use appropriate hearing protectors for adequate protection.
- Employees undergo monitoring procedures and receive the results of exposure monitoring on time.
- All hearing equipment and protectors are properly checked or calibrated before being used for monitoring.
They Said It!
I believe with confidence that we are reaching all of our expected goals by bringing Axiom on as an outsourced case management solution.
Axiom has helped us closely monitor the injured employee’s progress through the medical treatment process. Early treatment has kept our employees at work when in the past they would have likely taken time off or been placed off by a physician.
I recommend Axiom because their Nurse Case Management Team is their biggest asset. They are accessible, give great reports and are responsive to our needs.
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