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OSHA to host stakeholder discussion

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced it will host an informal meeting at which stakeholders will discuss ways to prevent occupational hearing loss. The public meeting is being held to determine the best practices for hearing conservation programs.

Additional topics will include the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and engineering controls used to prevent hearing loss.

"Between 20,000 and 25,000 workers suffer preventable hearing loss every year due to high workplace noise levels," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "In January, OSHA committed to holding this stakeholder meeting to elicit the views of employers, workers, noise control experts and public health professionals."

The meeting is set to take place in Washington, D.C., on November 3, 2011.

According to OSHA, several safety measures can be utilized to prevent worker hearing loss, including opting for low-noise machinery, keeping equipment well-maintained and lubricated, placing sound walls or curtains between machinery and workers, and isolating the noise source.

Providing safety products, such as ear plugs or ear muffs, is required by OSHA in high noise level workplaces to protect workers' hearing.  

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