One of the most frequently asked questions during our seminars and in our VeriPRO presentations is about occupational Hearing Conservation for workers with an existing hearing loss.
Yes, even workers with a hearing impairment are required to be covered by your company’s hearing conservation program. It is important to still protect and preserve whatever hearing those workers do have.
The challenge is that there is no one single solution for all hearing-impaired workers. Each case must be managed with personal attention to the needs of that worker.
There are many factors that are different for each worker. Those factors include:
Hearing Protection Solutions
There are solutions (or at least accommodations) that can work for hearing impaired workers.
Remember that the risk of overprotection must be considered to ensure a safe work environment for hearing-impaired workers. Measuring the individual attenuation using a fit-testing system such as VeriPRO or others can help select the earplug with the appropriate amount of attenuation.
One way to show workers that they are protected with moderate amounts of attenuation might be using in-ear dosimetry to measure their exact dose of hazardous noise over several shifts of work. QuietDose is a hearing protector and in-ear noise dosimeter in one that measures exactly how much noise is getting to the user’s eardrum. Studies show that with less than 50% dose of hazardous noise, almost everyone is protected from noise-induced hearing loss.