Occupational Hearing


If you work in an industrial workplace, then it may difficult to avoid loud noises during your workday. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), approximately 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work, causing an estimated $242 million per year to be spent on workers’ compensation due to hearing loss disability. As a result, NIOSH recommends “all worker exposures to noise be controlled below a level equivalent to 85 dBA for eight hours to minimize occupational noise-induced hearing loss.” If you want to know how loud 85 decibels is and how long you can be exposed to certain sounds, take a look at the chart provided by NIOSH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


Sounds Intensities Permissible Exposure Time
City Traffic, inside the car 85 dB 8 Hours
Bulldozer 88 dB 4 Hours
Jazz Concert 91 dB 2 Hours
Power Mower 94 dB 1 Hour
Nightclub 97 dB 30 Minutes
Ambulance Siren, inside: Driver window down 100 dB 15 Minutes
Rock Concert, Leaf Blower 115 dB 30 Seconds
Ambulance 125 dB
Jet from 100ft 135 dB
Gunshot 145 dB
12-Gauge Shotgun 165 dB

NIOSH also recommends a 3-dBA exchange rate, so that every 3-dBA increase doubles the amount of noise and halves the recommended amount of exposure time.

Hearing Protection

NIOSH suggests a hearing loss prevention program that includes the use of hearing protection devices, periodic hearing tests and education for workers along with administrative controls that include accurate record keeping, evaluations, and audits. If you work in any of these occupations or partake in any of these activities, you will want to consider hearing protection:

  • Hunting
  • Music
  • Recreational Shooting
  • Law Enforcement
  • Industrial Work

We provide services to clients in Hobbs, Carlsbad & Roswell, NM as well as Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland, Odessa, Abilene, San Angelo & Witchita Falls, TX. By investing in audiometric testing for your employees, you’re looking after your company’s financial well-being. Being able to properly protect employees from hearing loss saves thousands in worker’s compensation later. For more information, please call Audio Acoustics Testing & Diagnostics today.