Printech Archives, December 1997: Re: Hearing protection, binderies & music.

Re: Hearing protection, binderies & music.

Robert Gifford (
Thu, 18 Dec 1997 18:52:35 -0600


This message forwarded on behalf of T. Swanek


From: TSwanek

We have just had this very problem at one of our printing
facilities. NOTE: OSHA does not approve of radio headsets
being used in place of genuine hearing protection. Our policy
is no radio headsets. Besides, the FM music will be 82, but you
would still have background noise sneaking in the background.

There are on the market some rather pricey electronic headsets
which produce an alternating signal which cancels out the
machine noise, but I've never tested them. The price also made
them out of the question.


A printer's bindery department routinely exceeds the OSHA 90db exposure
level. They have implemented a hearing conservation program and require hearing
protection. However, because of the boring, monotonous nature of the work,
the employees are practically demanding that they be allowed to wear music
headphones to make the work bearable. I have identified one brand of
ear-muff style hearing protection/FM radio that limits the headphone volume to 82db.
Is this a viable option to satisfy OSHA and the employees? What have other
companies done to address this issue? All comments would be appreciated. I
am writing an article on hearing protection for an upcoming PIM newsletter
and would like to include information on this common problem. Thanks for your help!

Scott Schuler



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