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Noise

Construction sites are noisy places. Today, as a result of noise exposure, thousands of construction workers are hearing impaired, and thousands more are destroying their hearing through everyday work in the industry.

Research shows that hearing loss is a gradual and irreversible process. Without the use of audiometric tests, few workers will realize that they are losing their hearing until it is too late. This is why the LHSFNA recommends comprehensive hearing conservation programs on all construction worksites, despite the fact that OSHA currently requires only minimal protection.

Controlling noise is a challenge for construction contractors. Based on experience and feedback from contractors, Laborers and professionals across North America, the Construction Noise Control Partnership is assembling a Best Practices Guide.

The project is a living document. Click on the headings at right to see where it now stands. Click here to see or print the entire document.

Contents

Improving hearing conservation programs in construction a top priority. The Fund sponsored the first national conference on the issue and facilitated the formation of the national Construction Noise Control Partnership to advance best practices. It also provided written testimony to OSHA opposing the agency’s reversal of an earlier decision to require separate record keeping of hearing loss injuries on the OSHA Form 300 (Hearing Tests Confirm Stance), and it urged OSHA to require hearing protection for workers, not based on time-weighted average noise exposures, but on the noise levels of specific tasks and specific areas (BCTD Response to OSHA's Notice of ANPRM).

The Fund also provides training in the proper use of hearing protection. It provides a model program, Hearing Conservation for Construction Workers, to guide contractors and their safety officers in the establishment of company hearing conservation programs, and, when a signatory employer asks, the Fund’s OSH Division staff supports the model program with on-site consultation and testing.