Hearing Conservation in Industrial Facilities
Personal protection in the workplace such as hard hats, cut-resistant gloves, steel toe boots, safety glasses, and safety protocols such as fall protection and emergency eye flushing stations are essential in keeping your workplace safe.
Simple measures that when reinforced become second nature in times of actual danger have the potential to save lives. However, there is one unspoken piece of gear that when handled incorrectly by employers can cause irreparable damage to their employees: industrial earplugs.
After visiting industrial facilities across the United States, we found out that many people have little to no awareness of the lifelong risks of hearing loss in the workplace. In most facilities, it is common to find three major violations of hearing conservation compliance. These include:
1. Improper use of industrial earplugs
Frequently, workers either place earplugs into their ear canal without following the roll and squeeze technique as explained in depth by NIOSH at:
In this case, employees are not fully protected while working. It is likely that they receive on a twelve-hour shift a non-quantifiable dose of decibels that may cause permanent hearing damage or tinnitus.