EH&S and University Health Services (UHS) together administer a Hearing Conservation Program designed to protect faculty, staff, and students from hearing loss due to exposure to loud noise, i.e., exposure to noise above 85 decibels as an eight-hour time-weighted average.
The Hearing Conservation Program includes:
- Workplace and personal exposure monitoring
- Annual audiometric (hearing) tests
- Annual training on the hazards of noise, the purpose of audiometric testing, and proper use of hearing protection
- Hearing protection devices (earplugs or earmuffs) made available where needed
You may need to be enrolled in the Hearing Conservation Program if you work in any area where you have to raise your voice to be understood at arm's length. If you feel your work area may have unhealthy levels of noise, contact EH&S at (510) 642-3073 so that noise monitoring can be conducted. If excessive noise is detected, EH&S will prepare recommendations for your department to try to reduce the noise levels. If sufficient noise reductions are not feasible, you will receive audiometric testing and training at UHS (Tang Center), and hearing protectors will be made available to you free of cost.
Exposure to excessive noise in the workplace can cause permanent hearing loss. Although the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) attempts to control noise exposures on campus, certain operations and workstations may expose faculty, staff, or students to significant noise levels. This Hearing Conservation Program has been established to help ensure that members of the campus community do not suffer health effects from exposure to excessive noise while working at UC Berkeley.