Toolbox Talk: Noise and Hearing Protection

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

The CPWR Toolbox Talk on Noise and Hearing Protection addresses the risks associated with working in high-noise work areas. The resource includes a ‘real-life’ case example, steps to prevent a related injury or illness, and questions for discussion. It includes an image (page 2) that illustrates the hazard, which can be posted in a central location as a reminder of steps to work safely.   Click on the following links to access the English version and the Spanish version. (English) (Español)
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https://www.cpwr.com/publications/toolbox-talks

CPWR Toolbox Talk logoIf you are exposed to too much noise, you can lose your hearing - and your life. On the job, too much noise can distract you. You may not hear warnings. Noise also damages the nerves in the inner ears. Those nerves cannot be repaired.

 

Here is an Example

Richard was a laborer jackhammering concrete on a 16-month road job. The daily noise was so loud that he could not hear the people speak around him. After the job ended, he had his hearing tested and found that he had permanent partial hearing loss.

  1. Have you experienced hearing loss from being around loud noise at work?
  2. If so, were you comfortable with telling your supervisor directly?
  3. Are you aware of different actions you can take to decrease hearing loss?

Preventing Hearing loss

  • Use comfortable hearing protection such as ear muffs and ear plugs.
  • Be sure you’ve been trained to properly insert disposable foam ear plugs.
  • Avoid inserting or removing ear plugs if your hands are dirty. Better to clean first.
  • Take breaks from loud noise even if protective gear is worn.
  • Identify equipment and work areas where signs can be posted to make other workers aware of high noise areas.
  • Use a jackhammering attachment on an excavator to keep the worker farther from the noise source.
  • Move noise sources such as compressors away from the workers.

What Are We Going to Do Today?

What will we do here at the worksite today to prevent hearing loss?

1.____________________________________________________________

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2.____________________________________________________________

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3.____________________________________________________________

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OSHA STANDARD: 1926.52

Graphic of a worker wearing hearing protection while jackhammering.  Nearby is a sign that states: Caution, high noise area

  • Be sure you've been trained to properly insert disposable foam ear plugs.
  • Identify equipment and work areas where signs can be posted to make other workers aware of high noise areas.
  • Move noise sources such as compressors away from the workers.