Workplace noise: How much is too much?July 31, 2015 REDWIRE is news you can use from leading suppliers. Powered by FRASERS.
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Noise has long been recognized as an occupational hazard, yet many organizations do not understand the point at which noise becomes more than just a part of everyday work life — when it becomes a contributor to hearing loss.
Workers in many occupational sectors — including manufacturing, mining, construction, transportation and emergency services — often perform their jobs while exposed to high levels of occupational noise. With the daily use and operation of industrial machines and other equipment, high levels of occupational noise are especially prevalent in the manufacturing sector.
Long-term exposure to noise can result in both hearing loss and stress-related illness. In addition, noise can interfere with critical communications and warning signals. It can be a causal factor in work accidents because it greatly reduces a worker's ability to hear warning signals and impedes concentration. For these reasons, it is critically important to identify these hazardous situations and implement preventative measures to help protect the hearing of workers.
Canadian jurisdictions outline specific occupational noise exposure limits, and it is the responsibility of an organization's management to know and apply these limits to their workplaces. Protection of hearing starts with implementing procedures for measuring and declaring noise exposure, as well as establishing the appropriate management process for effective hearing loss prevention programs.
CSA Group recognizes the importance of hearing protection as part of an overall occupational health and safety program. Several standards have been developed pertaining to workplace noise exposure — for the identification of hazards and the measurement and control of noise — as well as other relevant standards for hearing protection devices and workplace accident and disease investigation.
Any threat to worker safety, including hearing, can be managed when the right processes and procedures are enforced.