Thursday, May 26, 2005

Computers: Hearing Conservation

Hearing conservation programs play a critical role in preventing noise-induced hearing loss. But are our hearing conservation programs all they can be? A good hearing conservation program uses engineering and administrative controls to reduce employee noise as much as feasible before resorting to personal protective equipment. But most health and safety professionals managing hearing conservation programs are not acoustical engineers or experts in noise control. We're generalists, juggling hearing conservation along with other programs. The result can be an over-reliance on hearing protection.

What we need is an easily accessible source of noise engineering control solutions. Thanks to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, we have one in the Noise Reduction Ideas Bank ( The Noise Reduction Ideas Bank is a searchable collection of noise reduction ideas that help identify ways to reduce workplace noise. The bank currently has a total of 100 records covering general industry and construction noise control techniques.

The bank's two drop-down menus make it easy to search for records by noise source, industry or both. The site also provides a keyword search function. In addition to the industry-specific noise reduction ideas, a search by specific industry also provides a list of 66 additional general noise reduction ideas. A search by noise source returns a list of all records for the particular source. (Via Occupational Hazards)

Noise Reduction Bank - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

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