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Human Resources Department

Occupational Safety & Health Unit

Hearing Conservation

Photo of Worker Holding Up Ear Muffs

Noise, or unwanted sound, is one of the most pervasive occupational health exposures, and as such, requires that employers take appropriate action when exposure  to employees reach certain threshold levels. It is a by-product of many industrial processes and consists of pressure changes in a medium (usually air), caused by vibration or turbulence.

These pressure changes produce waves emanating away from the turbulent or vibrating source. Exposure to high levels of noise has the potential to cause hearing loss. The extent of damage depends primarily on the intensity of the noise and the duration of the exposure.

Noise-induced hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. Temporary hearing loss results from short-term exposures to noise, with normal hearing returning after period of rest. Generally, prolonged exposure to high noise levels over a period of time gradually causes permanent damage.

To get more information on the applicability of this program for a specific County operation please contact the corresponding departmental Safety Coordinator.

For further information on specific regulatory guidelines please refer to the link(s) below.

Cal/OSHA Control of Noise Exposure Regulation

Cal/OSHA Noise Exposure Limits

Fed/OSHA Hearing Conservation Standard

Fed/OSHA Hearing Conservation Guide