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Should OSHA guidelines be revised

Protect Your Hearing
Protect Your Hearing
Photographer Wendy Spickerman

Did you know that OSHA reports every year, approximately 30 million people in the United States are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise. This statement comes from OSHA itself.

Yet the OSHA Guidelines do not refer to the risk of Hyperacusis which is also frequently induced by loud noise exposures.

For hyperacusis sufferers loud noises can cause physical and psychological stress, making it difficult to concentrate, communicate, reduce productivity and make it unbearable for some people to even work.

Resource: OSHA Guidelines

'An effective hearing conservation program must be implemented by employers in general industry whenever worker noise exposure is equal to or greater than 85 dBA for an 8 hour exposure or in the construction industry when exposures exceed 90 dBA for an 8 hour exposure.'

The question is how do these guidelines effect those who sufferer from hyperacusis, which is a increased sensitivity to sounds.

These guidelines where made, to keep in mind the average person's ability to hear, and how to protect that hearing.

Some frequent sounds known to be discomforting and painful to hyperacusis sufferers:

  • Fire Truck Siren
  • Refrigerators
  • Fax Machines
  • Phones
  • Dishes and Cutlery
  • Doors Shutting
  • Alarms and Scanners that Beep
  • Peoples Voices
  • Sound of Something Breaking
  • Dropped Box

You see there are so many sounds, that people with hyperacusis pick up on that most average people don't.

You ask how can you help?

Contact OSHA and let them know you understand there is a need for modification in the working environment for those with hyperacusis.

You can go to this site for region and area offices.

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