When noise control measures are infeasible, or until such time as they are installed, hearing protection devices are the only way to prevent high levels of noise from damaging the inner ear of workers. Making sure that these devices are worn effectively requires continuous attention on the part of supervisors and program implementers, as well as noise-exposed workers.

This “Client Handout” provides small business owners a means of identifying potential problem areas that may occur with the use of hearing protectors in the workplace. Any question answered “No” should be thoroughly investigated and corrective actions taken.

Questions Yes  No  N/A 
Have hearing protectors been made available to all workers whose daily average noise exposures are 85 dBA or above?      
Are workers given the opportunity to select from a variety of appropriate protectors?      
Are workers fitted carefully with special attention to comfort?      
Are the medical conditions of workers considered in the selection of hearing protectors?      
Are workers thoroughly trained in the use of hearing protectors, not only initially but at least once a year?      
Is each hearing protector user required to demonstrate that he or she understands how to use and care for the protector and these results documented?      
Are the protectors checked regularly for wear or defects, and replaced when necessary?       
If workers use disposable hearing protectors, are replacements readily available?       
Do workers understand the appropriate hygiene requirements?      
Have alternative types of hearing protectors been considered when problems with current devices are experienced?       
Do workers who incur noise-induced hearing loss receive intensive counseling?       
Are those who fit and supervise the wearing of hearing protectors competent to deal with the many problems that can occur?       
Do hearing protectors allow spoken instructions or warning signals to be heard?        
Are workers encouraged to take their hearing protectors home if they engage in noisy non-occupational activities?      
Are new types of potentially more effective protectors considered as they become available?       
Is the effectiveness of the hearing protector program evaluated regularly?       


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