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Your Hearing is important, protect it!  

Cells and nerves in the inner ear are destroyed by continuous exposure to loud noise. If enough cells and nerves are destroyed, hearing can be permanently damaged.

EH&S survey of common power tool and tractors for noise levels (Feb 2010, partial listing)
Hand power tools Noise to Ear distance Exposure (dBA)
Weed eater  2’ when in hands 93-95 in use
SawzAll 2’ when in hands 94-96 at idle /
    95-96 when cutting wood
DeWALT circular saw 2’ when in hands 80-83 at idle /
    94-96 when cutting wood
John Deere 245 Tractor   3’ for operator 84-85 at idle
    95 with PTO idle

OSHA’s daily limit is 85 dB

Steps to prevent hearing damage

1. Wear earplugs when exposed to loud noise & lesser noise for long periods*1

2. Reduce exposure to noise outside of the workplace

3. Use sound-absorbing materials

4. Do not use several noisy machines at once

5. Do not drown out unwanted noise with other sounds

6. If at risk for hearing loss, have your hearing tested once a year

How Loud is too Loud?
Decibels Sound Source
150
Firecracker
120
Ambulance siren
110
Chain saw, Rock concert
105
Personal stereo system at maximum level
100
Wood shop, Snowmobile
95
Motorcycle
90
Power mower
85
Heavy city traffic
60
Normal conversation
40
Refrigerator humming
30
Whispered voice
0
Threshold of normal hearing
 

Hearing Protection

1. Single-Use Earplugs -  Self-forming and work as well as most molded earplugs (most common)

2. Molded Earplugs - Must be individually fitted and can be disposable or reusable

3. Earmuffs - Require a perfect seal around the ear


NIOSH Noise Meter (.exe file) Download & play the Noise Meter file on any computer, even if Flash is not installed.


*1Hearing protection is to be made readily available to affected employees


NOISE-INDUCED HEARING LOSS IS PREVENTABLE!

For questions or concerns on noise or hearing protection at NMSU, call EH&S at 575-646-3327. (http://safety.nmsu.edu)
Hearing Protection Poster (pdf)