Noise and hearing conservation

Preventing occupational hearing loss

Live concerts, your car stereo and even your lawn mower can negatively impact your hearing. Exposure to noise in the workplace can also lead to permanent hearing loss. OSHA sets limits on noise exposure in the workplace. These limits are based on a workers' time-weighted average over an eight-hour day. OSHA's permissible exposure limit (PEL) for noise is 90dBA, as a time-weighted average for an eight-hour day.

In addition, any employer who exposes employees to noise levels averaging 85 dBA or greater over an eight-hour day must implement a hearing conservation program. As a general rule, if you have to raise your voice to speak to someone when standing one arm's length away from the other person, noise levels may be excessive and should be evaluated.

Use the related resources to train your employees and establish your organization's hearing conservation program.


Pinnacol's industrial hygienists can assist with developing a hearing conservation program. This service is free to policyholders.Contact your Pinnacol safety consultant today to learn more.

Don't forget to use a training roster to document your employee safety training.