Hearing damage is a real and unfortunate effect of long-term exposure to loud noise. Noise is a hazard of industrial workers and workers of any occupation who are repeatedly exposed to loud noise.
Hearing damage from noise is fully preventable when the right precautions are taken from the start. Regular hearing tests to evaluate any early signs of hearing loss, as well as everyday preventative measures such as the use of earplugs go a long way toward the prevention of permanent hearing loss.
Industrial Hearing Test Requirements
Organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have enacted requirements and procedures for hearing conservation to standardize hearing safety practices and reduce the incidence of preventable hearing damage. Some states also have their own guidelines, as well as the Department of Defense.
In most cases, OSHA requires that employees who are exposed to a time weighted average (TWA) of 85 dB be part of a hearing conservation program which includes hearing testing and employee training. Industrial manufacturers are also required to report evaluation results. Official hearing conservation standards are listed in OSHA CFR 29 1910.95 & MSHA Part 62.