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	worker wearing hearing protection

Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States. Approximately 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work, and an additional 9 million are exposed to ototoxic chemicals. An estimated $242 million is spent annually on worker’s compensation for hearing loss disability.

NIOSH recommends removing hazardous noise from the workplace whenever possible and using hearing protectors in those situations where dangerous noise exposures have not yet been controlled or eliminated.

Learn About Workplace Noise and Hearing Loss


  • 	Noise Infographics Icon Noise in Construction Infographics
    NIOSH and CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training created a series of infographics. View and share them at your work site.
  • 	NIOSH HPD Well-Fit™ fit-testing system for earplugs shown with laptop and manikin with headphones. HPD Well-Fit™, Measuring How Well Ear Plugs Work
    Hearing protection devices often fail to protect workers from hearing loss because of poor fit. HPD Well-Fit™ can test the noise reduction of any earplug and is inexpensive, fast, and portable. Contact us so you can use HPD Well-Fit™ at your workplace.
  • Buy Quiet
    Buy Quiet is a prevention initiative which encourages companies to purchase or rent quieter machinery and tools to reduce worker noise exposure. Visit our website to learn more.
  • Occupational Hearing Loss (OHL) Surveillance
    This is the main page for the NIOSH OHL Surveillance Project, which is a national surveillance system for this common occupational illness.
  • NIOSH Noise Meter
    This Flash application plays different sounds and sound intensities of everyday objects, and shows how long it takes before a particular sound level becomes dangerous to the human ear.
  • NIOSH Power Tools Database
    This database of commonly used power tools contains such information as sound power levels, sound pressure level and downloadable exposure files.
  •  Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss – A Practical Guide
     Intended to assist employers and employees to develop and maintain hearing loss prevention programs.
  • Hearing Protector Compendium
    A searchable database for selecting hearing protectors available from US hearing protector manufacturers
  • Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Noise Exposure
    This document reevaluates and reaffirms the recommended exposure limit (REL) for occupational noise exposure established by NIOSH in 1972.


NIOSHTIC-2 search results on Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention
NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.