Noise / Hearing
High noise levels have the potential to result in permanent hearing loss. Hearing loss in considered one of the most significant and overlooked workplace injuries today.
Permanent hearing loss tends to occur very slowly, so people don't notice the problem until it is too late. Thus it is important to reduce personal exposure to excessive noise as much as possible.
Examples of potential high-noise jobs at ASU include using grounds keeping equipment, working in certain mechanical rooms, firearm target practice, working at Legends, and using or working around high-noise equipment such as many power tools, industrial dishwashers, etc.
A good rule of thumb is: if it is necessary to raise your voice for someone to hear you an arm's length away, the noise level is probably too high. If you think the noise level in your workplace might reach this level for more than a few minutes a day, contact the University Industrial Hygienist.
Any employees who are exposed to OSHA's noise action level must be included in the ASU Hearing Conservation Program. OSHA's action level is the noise level at which most adults would be expected to experience permanent hearing loss. Specifically, the action level is an 8-hour Time-Weighted Average (TWA) of 85 decibels, A-weighted (dB(A)).
The Hearing Conservation Program consists of three main components:
- Noise monitoring (conducted by request by Debi Trivette).
- Baseline and annual audiometric (i.e., hearing) testing (scheduled by Debi Trivette and conducted by an audiologist at the ASU Communication Disorders Clinic).
- Annual employee training conducted at the time of annual audiometric testing.
For questions regarding audiometric testing schedules, contact Debi Trivette at 262-6120.
Contact Debi Trivette for any other questions regarding noise or hearing conservation, including:
- Hearing protector samples, fittings, and training.
- Monitoring of noise levels.
- Methods and equipment to reduce noise levels.
Last updated July 6, 2011
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