The Month of May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) which serves as a reminder to re-evaluate your company’s Hearing Conservation Program. According to the CDC, hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the United States and is more prevalent than diabetes or cancer. Occupational hearing loss, which is caused by noise exposure, is the most common U.S. work-related illness.
In support of BHSM, there’s a “better” way to protect your employees’ hearing. In the past, protecting your employees from hearing loss has been restricted with options and limited data. Thanks to VPPPA member Soundtrace, their patented pending digital transformation solution is changing the way companies protect their employees from over-exposure to noise.
Identifying noise hazards and proactively intervening is critical to the long-term health of employees’ hearing. Traditionally, companies periodically or annually measure employee noise exposure with a sound level meter or noise dosimeter. The problem with this approach is that it assumes sound is a constant, predicting everyday will have the same decibel levels.
The reality is that the only thing constant about sound is that it constantly changes. Soundtrace provides a state-of-the-art and proactive solution that monitors employee noise exposure in real-time generating intelligent insights, safety notifications, actionable improvements, and key metrics like Time-Weighted-Averages.
If you’re asking yourself, “Why is real-time monitoring better?” The answer is simple, knowing that your employees are exposed to loud noise is not good enough. Understanding their actual exposure is not only better but critical. The difference between 85 decibels and 88 decibels might not seem significant but it’s 200% the intensity. The National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) allows 8 hours of noise exposure at 85 decibels but only 4 hours at 88 decibels.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is the only type of hearing loss that is completely preventable. If you understand the hazards of noise and implement corrective actions, you’ll protect your employee’s hearing for life.