Noise and Occupational Hearing Loss
Exposure to loud noise or certain chemicals while at work can damage your hearing. Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses and is permanent.
have hearing risks.
US workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work each year.
US workers are exposed to chemicals, some of which are harmful to the ear (ototoxic) and hazardous to hearing.
A-weighted (dBA), averaged over an eight-hour period, is the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit (REL).
Hearing loss is associated with
- Communication difficulties, making it challenging to maintain relationships with others.
- Other health problems, including tinnitus (ringing in the ears), heart problems, cognitive decline, and poor mental health.
- Concerns for personal safety and the safety of others.
Fortunately, occupational hearing loss can nearly always be prevented. Health and safety professionals, employers, and workers can all help prevent occupational hearing loss.
Learn More About Hearing Loss at the Following Pages
Learn how to prevent noise exposure at work using engineering controls and other simple methods.
Learn about the NIOSH Occupational Hearing Loss Surveillance Program, available datasets, and hearing loss trends by industry sector.