The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) now provides access to their noise database which houses years’ worth of data that has been collected during health hazard evaluation (HHE) surveys.
What does this mean for employers?
It means that you now have a resource to help determine whether or not health hazards may be present in your workplace. These HHE surveys were conducted between 1996 – 2012 by NIOSH investigators as part of ongoing health hazard evaluations. In all, 73 HHE reports, including 761 personal noise exposure measurements and 536 area noise measurements have been recorded and are now searchable by:
- State/OSHA Region
- Industry Category
- Industry Subcategory
- Health Effect
- Year Published
The following video briefly explains how this data was collected.
NIOSH provides access to this data in an effort to provide increased insights to employers regarding occupational hearing conservation. Use these numbers as benchmarks for your own hearing conservation programs. Not only are these publications available via the NIOSH website, but employers or employees can also request that an HHE be conducted at their workplace. These evaluations are done at no cost, and once completed, a report is issued that includes recommendations on how to eliminate or reduce identified hazards.
According to NIOSH, four million workers go to work each day in an environment with potentially damaging noise. Obviously, you can’t totally avoid noise in the workplace, however, in most cases you can protect yourself and your employees by being proactive and using hearing protection in situations where prolonged noise exposure is a risk or a reality.
Want to find out the decibel levels of everyday and not-so-everyday noises and the associated danger levels? Register to download the infographic.
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