NIOSH recommends that all worker exposures to noise should be controlled below a level equivalent to 85 dBA for eight hours to minimize occupational noise induced hearing loss.
NIOSH also recommends a 3 dBA exchange rate so that every increase by 3 dBA doubles the amount of the noise and halves the recommended amount of exposure time.
Facts and Statistics:
Four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise. Ten million people in the U.S. have a noise-related hearing loss. Twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise each year.
- In 2008, approximately 2 million U.S. workers were exposed to noise levels at work that put them at risk of hearing loss.
- In 2007, approximately 23,000 cases were reported of occupational hearing loss that was great enough to cause hearing impairment.
- Reported cases of hearing loss accounted for 14% of occupational illness in 2007.
- In 2007, approximately 82% of the cases involving occupational hearing loss were reported among workers in the manufacturing sector.