These occupations are at high risk of hearing loss:

  • Firefighters and other first responders
  • Military personnel
  • Disc jockeys
  • Subway workers
  • Construction workers
  • Musicians
  • Factory workers
  • Mine workers

Continued exposure to more than 85 decibels (dBA) of noise may cause gradual but permanent damage to hearing. Noise can also hamper job performance, increase fatigue, and cause irritability.

OSHA requires a five-phase hearing conservation program for industry:

  1. Noise Monitoring: Sound levels must be measured to determine what safeguards are needed.
  2. Audiometric (Hearing) Testing: All employees in a hearing conservation program must be tested annually.
  3. Employee Training and Education: Employees in a hearing conservation program must be trained every year on hearing protection.
  4. Hearing Protectors: Hearing protection devices should be made available to all employees according to the noise risks identified.
  5. Record Keeping: The company must maintain records on sound level results, equipment calibration results, and hearing test records of employees, as well as its educational activities.