Employee Training

Employees exposed to 85-dB time-weighted average must receive annual training on hearing conservation. The following topics must be covered during this training program: effects of noise on hearing; the purpose of hearing protectors; the advantages and disadvantages of various types of hearing protection; instruction on hearing protection selection, fitting, use, and care; and the purpose of audiometric testing (see Chapter 5) (6).

Hearing protection is only a small part of an overall conservation program. Loud noises in the workplace should be engineered out. Worker noise exposure can easily be decreased by a simple rotation of jobs. The use of mufflers on equipment and even moving farm equipment away from shops are simple but effective ways to accomplish this. Agricultural workers are exposed to noise not only at work, but also recreationally by hunting, trapshooting, or snowmobiling, or by the use of a chainsaw (see Chapter 35, Table 35.1) (1,2).

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