Accessibility Icon
Search icon.Shopping cart icon.
BBB accredited business. A plus rating.
Trustpilot 4.6 star rating.

2023 OSHA Hearing Protection Requirements

It's reported that one in eight Americans, ages 12 and older, experience hearing loss in both of their ears. This equated to roughly 30 million people. For Americans in the workforce, it's not uncommon for factory workers, miners, musicians, dentists, construction workers and more to sustain hearing loss.

OSHA hearing protection is part of crucial workplace safety. It can prevent hearing loss from occurring.

OSHA works to educate employers and employees on the signs of noise issues in the workplace. It also teaches individuals how to prevent an employee injury from occurring in the first place.

This helpful guide explains OSHA compliance and hearing protection requirements so you can take preventative measures today.

Employee Hearing Protection

Employers must have some type of hearing conservation program in place, according to OSHA requirements. This program is for any workplace that has noise levels above 85 decibels. This also applies to any workplace where workers spend more than 8 working hours a day around these noise levels.

These hearing conservation programs work to prevent work-related hearing loss. They also strive to protect what remaining hearing an employee has. This is important if they've already sustained work-related hearing loss.

Hearing conservation programs provide workers with essential information. They can use this information to protect themselves and safeguard their hearing. This might include job-site training or other literature to keep employees abreast of hearing protection standards.

Signs of an Employee Injury

Part of a hearing protection program includes identifying hearing-related injuries.

Employees should pay attention to any new ringing or humming noises in their ears. They should pay close attention to these sounds after they leave work. If an employee experiences any type of temporary hearing loss after they leave work, they may have sustained a workplace injury.

Should an employee complain of sensitivity to certain sounds, they may have sustained a hearing-related injury. If an employee struggles to hear background noises, they may have a workplace injury as well.

If a colleague is within arm's distance, they shouldn't have to shout to be heard. If they do, consider this a red flag and report it to your supervisor. You may need medical attention, and this could be a worker's comp claim.

Worker's Comp Claims

First, report your injury to your employer or manager. Next, you'll receive medical treatment for your injury. Your employer will take note of your injury for their records.

You'll receive information regarding your rights and your worker's comp claim. There will also be an investigation to see who was at fault for your injury.

If you're out of work, a plan will be created to help you return. Your employer will consider your job duties and what would work best for your return.

While out of work, maintain open lines of communication with your supervisor or employer. This keeps you both in the loop regarding your worker's compensation claim and when your claim is expected to end.

Ensuring Workplace Safety

OSHA explains the ways that employers can protect their employees from hearing damage. For example, there are quieter machines they can use. There are also training courses that teach employees how to exercise caution around different machinery.

These machines work to isolate the source of workplace noise. This reduces a worker's direct exposure to loud, damaging noises.

Workers should also use protective equipment to protect themselves from loud noises. This equipment can work to keep loud noises below a certain decibel, protecting their hearing.

There's an excellent tool that employers and employees can both benefit from. It's called NIOSH's Sound Level Meter App.

This helpful app effectively measures sound levels within the workplace. It works to prevent hearing loss related to occupational noise. This app can work to reduce the amount of noise exposure employees encounter daily.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

Employers need to understand that employees with hearing loss are still safe and effective workers. Hearing disabilities do not preclude a person from doing their job accurately and expertly. Employers should not discriminate against these employees as a result of their hearing loss.

These employees are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to EEOC guidance, there are certain items that must be taken into consideration when a prospective employee applies for a position.

For example, these guidelines cover when employers are legally allowed to ask applicants or employees about their hearing impairment or disability. These guidelines also cover how employers should handle when an employee voluntarily discloses information regarding their hearing impairment.

Guidelines also discuss the list of reasonable accommodations that hearing-impaired employees may require. The way an employer handles the safety concerns of applicants and employees is also taken into consideration.

Additionally, these guidelines cover how employers should handle any harassment an employee sustains. This may be due to their hearing disability, or any other disability.

Employers need to work with qualified exterior counsel. This ensures they complete all noise survey requirements.

These guidelines also can lead to audiometric testing. This can help create a hearing conservation program in the workplace.

OSHA Hearing Protection

OSHA hearing protection works to keep your employees safe in the workplace. A hearing conservation program is an excellent way of educating employees. It also empowers them to protect their hearing.

You should also work with your employees to explain preventative ways of protecting their hearing. This includes protective gear to reduce how loud certain noises are.

Compliance Training Online strives to keep your company compliant and your employees safe. Our fast, easy-to-use training courses are accessible from any location. Contact us today to get started.



Your time is valuable. We've designed our site to be as fast as possible.

Easy to use

You'll never get lost or confused with us.

Immediate Access

There's no waiting period. Begin the course as soon as you sign up.

Anywhere Anytime

Internet connection and a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Up to date

We update our courses as soon as new regulations come out.