For a lot of places in the U.S., October means cooler weather, tricks, and treats. For the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and organizations like PK Safety, though, it also means National Protect Your Hearing Month. The goal of this month is to educate people about preventing noise-induced hearing loss. While you might wear hearing protection at a loud job site, are you also being mindful of your hearing safety when you're not working? Do you consider bringing earplugs to a concert or sports event?
Being around too much loud noise, whether that’s at an event, through your headphones, or at work can make you lose your hearing. Unfortunately, once that damage is done, there’s no way for your hearing to recover. While some loud noises can cause pain, most people don’t notice hearing loss until it’s too late—so it’s important to get ahead of hearing loss by taking preventive action now.
Standards to Reference
There are specific guidelines for facing noise hazards at work based on your industry. OSHA’s General Duty Clause (Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act) requires employers to provide safe employment and a safe workplace, which means preventing hazards that include hearing. 29 CFR 1904 focuses on recording and reporting injuries, and Subpart C is about recording occupational hearing loss cases specifically. General industry standard 29 CFR 1910, Subpart G covers occupational health and environmental control (1910.95 covers noise exposure). If your state has an OSHA-approved plan, it’s required to have standards and enforcement programs that are as effective as OSHA’s—and possibly even more stringent—it’s worth looking into. Even consider hearing screening tests new employees can benefit from in certain industries as a defensive way to prevent later claims of work-induced hearing loss or tinnitus. There are other standards and recommendations from various professional organizations based on your industry.
Tips to Preserve Your Hearing
While hearing damage can’t be reversed once it happens, there are steps you can take to protect it now.
- Simply avoid the loud noises. This means turning down your music, moving away from speakers at concerts, and spending as little time as possible in loud places.
- If you can’t avoid loud noises, wear hearing protection.
- Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about your hearing. They can offer hearing screenings and refer you to tests or treatments if you’re having problems.
Hearing Protection Gear
Wearing hearing protection should be a given when around loud noises, and PK Safety can help you get some. Whether you’re looking for a good hearing band or pair of earmuffs as part of your workplace PPE or disposable earplugs for a home improvement project or one-time event, we can help you find something comfortable and effective. We carry an array of hearing protection products from brands like 3M, E-A-R, Howard Leight, Moldex, and Pyramex — brands we trust to keep us safe on the job.
Your Hearing Loss Prevention Partners
For over 70 years, customers have trusted PK Safety to provide the equipment and expertise they need to get home at the end of each workday safe and sound. Learning how to prevent hearing loss is an important first step. Spreading awareness of National Protect Your Hearing Month is just part of our continued mission to keep workers safe. Whether you’re working on an industrial line or a home improvement project, we have a selection of earmuffs, earplugs, and hearing bands that can help you preserve your hearing. Our website has product information and blogs that are always available to check out, and our safety experts are also available by online contact form or by phone at 800.829.9580.