Western Kentucky University

Environmental Health and Safety - Hearing Conservation

Hearing Conservation

Unwanted sound or noise can have many negative effects on our bodies and on the quality of our daily lives.  it can cause hypertension, heart disease, sleep disturbances, and may even effect our  immune system.  Additionally, excessive exposure to high levels or noise over time either from work or play may lead to permanent hearing loss.   Hearing loss is generally painless, it progresses over time, and once acquired it is irreversible.  However, the good news is noise induced hearing loss is preventable.

Noise does not have to be uncomfortably loud, or even painful, to be damaging.  The level of noise that a person is exposed to, its duration, and its frequency determines whether or not the noise level may be dangerous.  If the noise level you are exposed to over an eight day averages over 85 decibels then our are at risk of damage  to your normal hearing ability.  If you find  the need to shout in order to be heard three feet away from someone then the noise levels are probably 85 decibels or more.

If you think that you might be exposed to excessive noise in your work place, call Environment, Health and Safety for an assessment.

 Last Modified 5/9/14