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Department of Labor Renews Program to Protect Workers from Hearing Loss

Regional Emphasis Program will begin inspections in three mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia on industries with high levels of workplace noise.

Department of Labor announced today that it has renewed a Regional Emphasis Program to focus inspections in three mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia on industries with high workplace noise levels, which can contribute to worker hearing loss.

A common workplace health concern is that hearing loss can be permanent and debilitating. Potential hearing loss is a hazard for about 22 million US workers, the National Institute Occupational Safety and Health estimates. In 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found about 12,000 workers suffered work-related hearing loss, with 9,700 workers employed in the manufacturing industry.

The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Philadelphia renewed the regional program established in 2018 to protect people employed in industries with high-risk noise issues. The renewed REP will focus OSHA’s efforts on manufacturing industry employers under federal jurisdiction in Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia for a five-year term. 

As part of its October renewal, it added several industrial areas to the initiative, including the ornamental and architectural metal product sectors. 

To help businesses understand their requirements, OSHA will discuss the Noise REP on December 13, 2023, at 1 PM Eastern. Please click this link to register.