030 – How to Avoid Fines for Not Having a Hearing Conservation Program

In episode 30 of the OSHA Oops! Podcast, we’re talking about hearing protection and a company that did not ensure their employees needed a hearing conservation program. They were fined only $400 – but it could have been much higher if it was discovered that a hearing conservation program was needed. OSHA requires companies to have a hearing protection plan in place if their workers are exposed to an noise level above 85 decibels (dB) over an 8-hour workday. Thankfully in this case, they did not have noise levels above 85 dB – but if it had been, the fines would have been much greater.

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Hearing Conservation Program

If your company is exposed to noise levels above 85 decibels (dB) over an 8-hour workday, OSHA requires you to have a hearing conservation program in place. This means that if you’re not monitoring noise levels and protecting your employees’ hearing, you could be facing some pretty hefty fines. In today’s blog post, we’ll talk about what a hearing conservation program is and how to ensure your company is in compliance with OSHA regulations.

To avoid fines for not having a hearing conservation program in place, you need to first assess whether or not your workplace noise levels exceed 85 dB. This can be done with a sound level meter or dosimeter. If your workplace noise levels do exceed 85 dB, you need to implement a hearing conservation program as soon as possible. Once the program is in place, you need to make sure that it is being followed and that employees are trained on the dangers of exposure to loud noise. 

The Dangers of Noise Pollution

Exposure to loud noise can cause a variety of health problems, including tinnitus, hearing loss, and even cognitive decline. In fact, the World Health Organization has classified noise pollution as a leading cause of disability worldwide. And it’s not just our physical health that suffers when we’re constantly bombarded with sound; noise pollution can also lead to increased stress levels, anxiety, and depression.

Below is a small clip from our PPE: Hearing Protection safety lesson. For access to the full lesson and our entire safety lesson library, give us a call at 800-734-3574.

Hearing Protection Devices

The choice of hearing protective devices may depend on the noise level, comfort, and the suitability
of the hearing protection device for both the worker and the environment. The three general types of
hearing protection is:

  • Ear plugs
  • Ear caps
  • Ear muffs


If your company needs safety training, along with OSHA defense and many other safety services, please call 1-800-734-3574 for more details.