Worker Safety

Noise

Exposure to excessive noise in the workplace can cause permanent hearing loss. Although the University of Michigan attempts to control noise exposures on campus, certain operations and workstations may expose faculty, staff, or students to significant noise levels; i.e., exposure to noise above 85 decibels as an eight-hour time-weighted average, or more than 115 decibels at any moment. The Hearing Conservation Program has been established to help ensure that members of the campus community do not suffer health effects from exposure to excessive noise while at work.

At the University of Michigan, the Hearing Conservation Program includes:

  • Workplace and personal exposure monitoring
  • Annual audiometric (hearing) tests
  • Annual training on the hazards of noise, purpose of audiometric testing, and proper use of hearing protection
  • Hearing protection devices (ear plugs or ear muffs) made available where needed

You may need to be enrolled in the Hearing Conservation Program if you work in any area where you have to raise your voice to be understood at arm's length. If you feel your work area may have unhealthy levels of noise, contact the OSEH representative assigned to your department or the OSEH department at 7-1142 so that noise monitoring can be conducted. If excessive noise is detected, OSEH will prepare recommendations for your department to try to reduce the noise levels. If sufficient noise reductions are not feasible, you will receive audiometric testing and training at Occupational Health Services and hearing protectors will be made available to you free of cost.

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