It is a misconception that hearing-impaired or deaf workers do not have to participate in a hearing conservation program. Like those with normal hearing, these workers still fall under OSHA, MSHA and FRA regulations for occupational noise exposures.
While the highest attenuating hearing protection devices (HPDs) may be appropriate for employees exposed to high levels of hazardous noise over extended periods of time, they most likely are not suitable for most of the workforce. Overprotection is a challenge for hearing conservation program managers.
In the two years since America West merged with US Airways to become the number four carrier in the United States, the new US Airways has endeavored to consolidate and enhance its corporate safety program, and specifically its hearing conservation program.
Keeping workers properly protected from hazardous noise and motivated to wear their hearing protectors is a challenge for any safety manager. With proper training and ongoing encouragement, most workers do wear their earplugs or earmuffs on the job. However, there are always a few workers who feel compelled to raise objections to wearing their earplugs or earmuffs. Here are a few common objections workers raise to wearing hearing protection devices (HPDs), and some suggestions on how to combat them and perhaps even change those attitudes