With the summer comes an increase in the overall noise levels on campus. Between the lawn mowers,
excavators, power washers and truck traffic, the decibel levels jump up dramatically this time of year.
Whether you are working outdoors in this environment, or inside a building mechanical room, please
wear the proper hearing protection identified in the related Job Hazards Analysis or evaluated by EHS
under the UD Hearing Conservation Program.
Please see the FREAS SharePoint page under Safety for more information on this topic.
- Exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss.
- Neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct this type of hearing loss.
- Loud noise can also reduce work productivity and contribute to workplace accidents by making
it difficult to hear warning signals.
- Hearing loss from loud noise limits your ability to hear high frequencies, understand speech, and
reduces your ability to communicate.
- Hearing loss can affect your quality of life by interfering with your ability to enjoy socializing
with friends, playing with your children or grandchildren, or participating in other activities.
- Damage to your hearing can be prevented, but once permanent noise-induced hearing loss
occurs, it cannot be cured or reversed.
- Hearing loss usually occurs gradually, so you may not realize it is happening until it is too late.
- Noise can also affect your body in other ways. A recent study found that workers persistently
exposed to excessive occupational noise may be two-to-three times more likely to suffer from
serious heart disease than workers who were not exposed.
- A one-time exposure to a sudden powerful noise, such as an explosion, may damage your
- Prolonged exposures to loud noise can lead to a gradual, but permanent, loss of hearing.
- Sound intensity is measured in decibels (dBA). Decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale,
which means that a small increase in the number of decibels results in a huge change in the
amount of noise and the potential damage to a person’s hearing.
- Noise control strategies can be implemented such as noise barriers, low-noise equipment/tools,
signage for high noise areas, and personal hearing protection.
- There are many different types of hearing protection. Each type is designed for certain noise
conditions. Ask your supervisor or EHS if you need help.
- Unless hearing protection is worn properly and at all the times in high noise areas, the devices
will not be effective.
- Contact EHS if you have any concerns about the noise levels where you work.
- Reference University Policy 7-40, Personal Protective Equipment
- Reference the University of Delaware Hearing Conservation Program
- See the EHS website under General Safety www1.udel.edu
- See the OSHA website under 1910.95 – Occupational noise exposure