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Cut down on noise to protect employees’ health

Noise surrounds us all day, from the transportation we take to work, to the music in the elevator, and the clicking and humming and buzzing of computers and other office equipment in the workplace. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 million employees in the U.S. are exposed to potentially damaging levels of noise at work every year. In addition to hearing loss, exposure to excessive noise can cause other health problems, such as hypertension and ulcers. Here are some steps to protect your employee’s ears and overall safety:

 

  • Invest in quieter equipment.
  • Compare workplace tools and equipment, and choose those that minimize noise and vibration.

  • Break up the pathway.
  • Enclose noisy areas: Shut doors, erect sound-dampening barriers, and buy sound-absorbing wall coverings to reduce noise.

  • Provide ear protection.
  • Expandable foam earplugs and other protective gear should be available to all employees who are exposed to high levels of noise.

  • Limit exposure.
  • Don't expect employees to work in excessively noisy conditions endlessly. Provide frequent breaks, and schedule them in shifts so they’re not constantly exposed to noise hazards.
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