Hearing Conservation - Safety
The goal of the Navy hearing conservation program is to prevent occupational hearing loss and ensure auditory fitness for duty in the military and civilian workforce. The program includes the following:
Noise Measure and Analysis - Survey work environments to identify potentially hazardous noise levels and personnel at risk.
Engineering Control - Reduction of noise at the source. Environments that contain or equipment that produces potentially hazardous noise will, whenever it is technologically and economically feasible, be modified to reduce the noise level to acceptable levels.
Hearing Protective Devices - The use of personal hearing protective devices to limit noise exposure should only be an interim protective measure while implementing engineering controls. Where engineering controls are not feasible, administrative controls and/or the use of hearing protective devices shall be employed.
Audiometry - Periodic hearing tests monitor the effectiveness of the hearing conservation program. Early detection of temporary threshold shifts allows further protective action to be taken before permanent hearing loss occurs. Necessary follow-up evaluation will be conducted to ensure appropriate referral, treatment and early return to duty.
Education - Individuals exposed to hazardous noise, their supervisors, and people providing hearing conservation services (i.e., training, monitoring, hearing protection, etc.) will receive training.
Training these individuals is vital to the overall success of a hearing conservation program.
1) An understanding of the permanent nature of noise-induced hearing loss
2) Its negative effects on operational readiness and individual fitness for duty
3) The command's hearing conservation program
4) The individual's responsibilities under the program are all essential for program effectiveness.
Also, regions and activities shall encourage all Navy employees to use hearing protective devices when exposed to hazardous noise during off-duty activities, e.g., from lawn mowers, chain saws, firearms, etc.
Federal OSHA standard
29 CFR 1910 Subpart G - Occupational Noise Exposure (1910.95)
Training link - ESAMS