One must remember however, that the loudest noises do not matter if they are not in an area that exposes employees (Hager, 2007). Hearing loss can seldom be restored so it must be prevented. Once it is determined where the noise levels either need to be attenuated or the employee needs to be protected, one can establish the type of protection to use.
Second, the issue of employee education must be approached as all of these employees must have a thorough understanding of what causes hearing loss is, how permanent it is, and how to protect themselves. The group of employees at risk according to this case study are the fork lift operators. When selecting a HPD or hearing protection device, many managers choose the cheapest that prevents the most exposure. The problem with this is that it may not be the right one for the kind of exposure that is found in this particular situation. Employees must also understand the OSHA rules that pertain to these issues.
OSHA requires mandatory hearing protection for employees that are exposed to 8 hours of dBA of 90 or greater. There must be signs posted in areas where this equipment should be used and . Once it is decided what protection equipment is to be used, it must then be enforced with loss of job for not using the equipment as ask. According to Ross, (2007) the University of Washington recommends the following for hearing protection
Some of the possibilities include earplugs which should not be used in a dirty area as employees will roll the plugs with dirty hands and then put them in their ears. Others that are useful are canal caps and ear muffs. The company will have better compliance if the employee can choose from the ones that work in their area, the one that is most comfortable to them. Canal caps resemble ear plugs but are on a flexible band which is worn over the head. They work as well as ear plugs but do not have to be put down in a dirty area. They may, however, ...
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