OSHA Seeking Comment on Occupational Hearing Loss Prevention

20,000 to 25,000 workers suffer preventable hearing loss every year due to high workplace noise levels

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WASHINGTON, DC (October 6, 2011) -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will host an informal stakeholder meeting to solicit comments and suggestions on occupational hearing loss prevention. The purpose of OSHA's public meeting is to provide a forum and gather information from stakeholders on best practices for hearing conservation programs, personal protective equipment, and feasible engineering controls. OSHA is holding this meeting as part of its commitment to work with stakeholders on approaches for preventing occupational hearing loss. The meeting will take place in Washington, D.C on November 3, 2011, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"Between 20,000 and 25,000 workers suffer preventable hearing loss every year due to high workplace noise levels," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "In January, OSHA launched an education, outreach and consultation initiative on preventing work-related hearing loss. As part of that initiative, OSHA committed to holding this stakeholder meeting to elicit the views of employers, workers, noise control experts and public health professionals."

 The meeting will be held at the Frances Perkins Building, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-4437 A/B/C/D, at 200 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, DC. Interested parties may register online, call 781-674-7374, or fax a request to 781-674-7200. Faxes should be labeled "Attention: OSHA Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss: Stakeholder Meeting" and include the stakeholder's name, contact information, and company or organization. The deadline for registration is October 27, 2011.

For more details on the upcoming meeting, please visit the Federal Register notice or contact Frank Meilinger, Director of OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 or Meilinger.Francis2@dol.gov. OSHA's Noise Conservation Web page provides background on health effects of noise exposure, warning signs of hearing loss, and examples of workplace engineering controls.