Skip to Top Main Navigation Skip to Left Navigation Skip to Content Area Skip to Footer
Texas Department of Insurance
Topics:   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All


National Protect Your Hearing Month

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that about 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise each year. In addition, more than 10 million employees work around chemicals or solvents known to contribute to occupational hearing loss (OHL). This October help employees protect their hearing with these steps:

National Protect Your Hearing Month - hearing loss, the most hidden workplace injury

1Monitor the volume.

Check workplace noise levels using a sound level meter, such as NIOSH’s free Sound Level Meter smartphone application. If the noise level is above 85 A-weighted decibels (dBA) or if employees have to raise their voices to speak with someone at arm’s length, the noise is likely too high.

2Wear hearing protection.

Always wear hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs, in noisy areas. If using foam earplugs, learn how to insert them correctly.

3Reduce noise exposure.

Reduce employees’ time in noisy areas and and allow them to take regular breaks from loud activities to help prevent long-term hearing damage. Keep equipment well maintained and lubricated or choose quieter equipment to decrease hearing loss.

4Reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.

Exposure to certain chemicals, such as ototoxicants, may cause hearing loss and balance problems. Use less-toxic or non-toxic chemicals and always follow safety instructions on all hazardous materials. Wear gloves, long sleeves, eye protection, and a respirator or other protective equipment when needed.

5Know the signs of hearing loss.

Provide employees who work in loud areas with a hearing test and annual  exams. If an employee has ringing or humming in their ears or any temporary hearing loss, they should contact their safety manager immediately. 

For more information on hearing conservation, download DWC’s free Noise and Hearing Protection Fact Sheet (English/Spanish) or contact a DWC safety training specialist at or 1-800-252-7031, option 2.


For more tips like these:

Like DWC on Facebook      Follow DWC on Twitter      Subscribe to DWC's YouTube Channel      Follow DWC on LinkedIn

For more information, contact:

Last updated: 10/11/2021