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Hearing Conservation

The Industrial Hygiene Program (IHP) provides services to limit exposure to noise which could cause hearing loss. These include monitoring exposure, recommending hearing protection where needed, and recommending engineering controls to limit noise where feasible.

Exposure Determination/Monitoring

At your request, the IHP will measure the noise exposure at your work location using a sound level meter and/or a noise dosimeter.  If you cannot communicate clearly with someone from three feet or closer, there is likely hazardous noise in the area!

Noise Reduction

Noise reduction can be achieved through a variety of means including:

  • Removing or replacing noisy equipment
  • Repairing noisy equipment
  • Noise source enclosure or worker enclosure
  • Acoustical treatments

Create a Service Request to repair noisy equipment.

Administrative Control

Noise exposure can be reduced through the time of exposure, worker rotation, training, and work area signage. Worker rotation is valuable for reducing noise exposure and often requires cross-training.

Annual training of employees in noisy work environments above 80 dBA is conducted by the IHP on the effects of noise on hearing, the proper way to wear hearing protection, and the purpose of audiometric testing.  Training is generally provided by the EHS Office for each Department, Lab, or Center.  Training is also available through the Atlas Learning Center.

Hearing Protection

Earplugs and earmuffs are the most common forms of hearing protection. Please contact the EHS Office for an evaluation of the need to wear and correct the selection of Hearing Protection Devices.

It is MIT’s policy to require that all employees who are exposed at or above a time-weighted average of 85 decibels for an 8 hour day to wear hearing protection which will be furnished by the Institute. The samples of various types of earmuffs and earplugs are available for inspection in the Industrial Hygiene Program and may be purchased through the purchasing office. One type of muff and one type of plug is stocked at the IHP and can be purchased there. If you would like direction on ways to control noise in existing or new equipment, contact our office for feasible engineering controls.

Fitting Foam Ear Plugs Video

(Produced by Tom Ouimet, Yale University, Environment Health and Safety Office).

Audiometric Testing

Those employees whose exposure exceeds the 80 dBA threshold will be enrolled in the hearing conservation program and will be notified yearly to make an appointment with the audiologist at the MIT Medical Department to have a hearing exam at no cost to the employee.

Who To Contact

The Industrial Hygiene Program
Building N52-496
265 Mass. Ave
Cambridge MA 02139-4307
Phone (617) 452-3477

Exposure Determination/Monitoring

At your request, the IHP will measure the noise exposure at your work location using a sound level meter and/or a noise dosimeter.  If you cannot communicate clearly with someone from three feet or closer, there is likely hazardous noise in the area!

Noise Reduction

Noise reduction can be achieved through a variety of means including:

  • Removing or replacing noisy equipment
  • Repairing noisy equipment
  • Noise source enclosure or worker enclosure
  • Acoustical treatments

Create a Service Request to repair noisy equipment.

Administrative Control

Noise exposure can be reduced through the time of exposure, worker rotation, training, and work area signage. Worker rotation is valuable for reducing noise exposure and often requires cross-training.

Annual training of employees in noisy work environments above 80 dBA is conducted by the IHP on the effects of noise on hearing, the proper way to wear hearing protection, and the purpose of audiometric testing.  Training is generally provided by the EHS Office for each Department, Lab, or Center.  Training is also available through the Atlas Learning Center.

Hearing Protection

Earplugs and earmuffs are the most common forms of hearing protection. Please contact the EHS Office for an evaluation of the need to wear and correct the selection of Hearing Protection Devices.

It is MIT’s policy to require that all employees who are exposed at or above a time-weighted average of 85 decibels for an 8 hour day to wear hearing protection which will be furnished by the Institute. The samples of various types of earmuffs and earplugs are available for inspection in the Industrial Hygiene Program and may be purchased through the purchasing office. One type of muff and one type of plug is stocked at the IHP and can be purchased there. If you would like direction on ways to control noise in existing or new equipment, contact our office for feasible engineering controls.

Fitting Foam Ear Plugs Video

(Produced by Tom Ouimet, Yale University, Environment Health and Safety Office).

Audiometric Testing

Those employees whose exposure exceeds the 80 dBA threshold will be enrolled in the hearing conservation program and will be notified yearly to make an appointment with the audiologist at the MIT Medical Department to have a hearing exam at no cost to the employee.

Who To Contact

The Industrial Hygiene Program
Building N52-496
265 Mass. Ave
Cambridge MA 02139-4307
Phone (617) 452-3477