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How can I protect myself from noise in the workplace?

David M. Vernick, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
If you're exposed to loud noise on the job, you're entitled to certain protections from your employer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has the power under the federal government to regulate noise in the workplace, states that workers should not be exposed to constant noise above 90 dB for longer than eight hours. Companies with work areas that exceed this standard are required by law to have hearing-conservation programs that accomplish the following:
  • Identify work areas with potentially hazardous noise levels.
  • Take steps to control this noise.
  • Schedule regular hearing screening tests for employees.
  • Require employees to wear earplugs, earmuffs, or similar ear-protection devices.
  • Educate workers on the dangers of loud noise.
  • Make sure workers with hearing loss get the proper care to help prevent further hearing damage.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.