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Brian Duplessis, Loss Prevention Supervisor Aug 31, 2022 2 min read

Loss Prevention to Update Recommendations on Hearing Protection

Loss Prevention will also revise OSHA Personal Protective Equipment Hazard Assessment.

Based on observations made during safety audits, NHADA Loss Prevention decided to take a closer look at noise exposure in Workers' Compensation Trust member shops. The results of the surveys showed that while OSHA limits weren’t exceeded on average, certain tasks exposed service techs to substantial noise levels over shorter periods. This fact, coupled with the fact that techs can be exposed to hazardous noise levels from work performed by others, has led Loss Prevention to modify its recommendations on hearing protection and update the OSHA-required PPE Hazard Assessment.

Prior to this recent assessment, LP had only recommended donning ear plugs when engaged in work activities that generated significant noise, i.e., pneumatics. However, based on background noise levels recorded, technicians will be better protected by wearing earplugs at ALL TIMES while in the shop. Furthermore, while working with pneumatics or performing other loud tasks, technicians are recommended to don earmuffs AND earplugs.

This recommended level of hearing protection is similar to recommendations made for respirator usage in collision repair and for the same reasons. Respirators are used even though exposure levels are shown to be well below OSHA permissible limits as an extra level of protection or “comfort use”. Similarly, hearing protection should be worn as recommended above to provide that extra level of safety.

Loss Prevention recommends that WCT members share this information with employees and update and enforce their policy on hearing protection. 

If you have any questions, please contact me at bduplessis@nhada.com. Reach any member of the Loss Prevention Department at 603-224-2369.

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