“Noise” can be any unwanted sound. The psychological effect of noise is that it can startle you, annoy you, and disrupt your concentration. Physiological effects include loss of hearing. Severe exposure to noise can cause pain and even nausea. Noise can also affect communications and interfere with both job performance and your safety.
Hearing loss isn’t easy to notice but with time, overexposure to loud noises decreases our ability to hear. When you’re exposed to excessive noise, damage occurs to tiny sensory cells (microscopic
hair cells) deep inside your ear, so there’s no way to see the damage, and there is no pain.
Noise levels above 85 decibels can harm a worker’s hearing. If the noise level is above the acceptable limit, a hearing conservation program is required. In industries with hazardous noise, it's essential for you to take an annual hearing test. This test helps determine if your hearing is being damaged and what can be done to prevent further damage.
A hearing conservation program:
- Identifies noise hazards and monitors exposure
- Employs the hierarchy of controls to manage the risks
- Incorporates hearing protection devices
- Includes regular hearing testing
- Communicates and educates about the hazards
Learn more about the impacts of hearing loss and how to develop a hearing conservation program in the workplace.
Hearing Conservation Resources and Tools
Interested in a Noise Hazards?
Noise Hazards Noise is one of the most common occupational health hazards. WorkSafeBC has established occupational exposure limits (OEL) to protect workers’ hearing as well as protect their mental health. An employer must ensure that a worker is not exposed to noise levels above 85 dBA Lex daily noise exposure level or 140 dBC peak […]