October 23rd, 2019
10:30 am -11:30 am
Despite the MSHA Occupational Noise Exposure Standard existing for nearly 20 years, noise exposure and hearing loss remains a major concern across mining commodities. The 7 key elements recommended by NIOSH to successfully implement a Hearing Conservation Program in mining will be discussed with specific examples from current research projects. Although it is recognized that each of these elements are needed to truly reduce occupational hearing loss, certain elements are more likely to become lax, or conversely, can be easily improved, for an overall increase in the effectiveness of the HCP. Therefore, the specific examples will focus on those elements: noise exposure monitoring, engineering and administrative controls, use of hearing protection devices, and education and motivation. Existing and emerging NIOSH tools and technologies as they relate to hearing conservation programs will be discussed. Implementing these easy, inexpensive solutions can move many existing hearing conservation programs from simply checking a required box, to truly making a difference in the hearing health of miners.