The Bacou-Dalloz Hearing Safety Group’s Web site has recently been expanded to provide a wide range of resources to help safety officers and industrial hygienists implement better hearing conservation programs worldwide.

In the Hearing Conservation section at www.hearingportal.com, users can find information on global hearing conservation regulations, as well as posters, presentations, literature and other tools to help design, set up and conduct people-oriented hearing conservation programs.

“Despite many years of regulation, the incidence of noise-induced hearing loss continues to rise,” said Renee Bessette, COHC, senior marketing/communications specialist for the San Diego-based company. “We believe that successful hearing conservation programs require an active outreach to employees—the people who actually wear hearing protection devices and suffer the consequences if they don’t—and our intent with hearingportal.com is to provide managers with a one-stop, evolving resource to improve their hearing conservation programming efforts.”

Free resources available at hearingportal.com are specific to the Americas, Europe and Australia/New Zealand, and include regional regulatory information and links; technical information on hearing conservation topics and protection devices; and programming tools including literature, posters and presentations.

Hearingportal.com offers a number of hearing conservation program aids for download, including a Noise Thermometer Poster, Earplug and Earmuff Instruction Posters, an OSHA Regulation Poster, a poster on “The 4 Cs of Hearing Protection,” and a PowerPoint presentation on Hearing Conservation Basics. Other downloads include a Hearing Glossary and hearing conservation literature. Many items are available both in English and Spanish.

The Americas regulatory section offers an OSHA Regulation Poster and links to OSHA regulations as well as other federal health and safety organizations’ resources related to noise in the workplace.

Technical information on hearingportal.com is available in a series of “Sound Source” bulletins, short articles designed to address the questions and concerns of safety professionals engaged in the development and implementation of hearing conservation programs. Authored by expert hearing conservationists and edited by noted hearing conservation authority Brad Witt, Sound Source issues cover such topics as: “Understanding Ratings,” which describes the various ratings listed on hearing protection device (HPD) packaging, including NRR, SNR, SLC80, and CSA; “How NRR is Calculated,” an overview of the laboratory testing and mathematical calculations required by ANSI S3.19-1974 to determine Noise Reduction Ratings; and “A- and C-Weighted Noise Measurements,” which explores these different sensitivity scales for noise measurement.

[SOURCE: Bacou-Dalloz, August 2006]