What are OSHA’s Rules on Earphones?

OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has strict regulations related to hazardous noise levels in the workplace/ and the requirement of employers to protect workers from hearing loss related to them in light of a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that work-related exposure to hazardous noise levels affects nearly 22 million Americans.

At 85 decibels, employers are required to allow employees to choose between hearing muffs and ear plugs to protect their ears, educate workers about the possibility of hearing damage, and provide employer-paid heating tests upon employment and once per year afterward.

At 90 decibels, employers must replace equipment so to reduce noise levels and/or reduce the amount of time employees are exposed to noise of that level. Additionally, employers are permitted to use ear muffs at this level but not earphones, though they are permitted at lower decibels. Earphones worn over ear plugs, however, are considered violations and not permitted according to OSHA regulations.

Which Industries Require Noise Cancelling Ear Protection?

While there are some industries widely believed and well-known for causing hearing loss, some of the industries that result in hearing loss due to excessive exposure to noise might surprise you. These are some of the biggest offenders when it comes to damaging ears and risking hearing:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Carpentry
  • Mining
  • Entertainment and nightlife
  • Military
  • Agriculture and farming
  • Flight crews
  • Dentistry
  • Ambulance drivers
  • Physical education teachers

Taking appropriate action to protect hearing is one of the most important things employers can do to preserve the hearing of their employees when consistently exposed to noise levels that can damage hearing.

Choosing the Right Ear Protection for Employees

One challenge employers face today is the need to communicate with employees while offering them the ear protection they need to protect their hearing.

The Titan Noise Cancelling Headset with Gooseneck Boom Mic from Peak PTT for example offers a sensible solution that is OSHA compliant, requires no batteries, is water resistant, and features the ease of push to talk communication with a PTT button on the headset. Combine that with a noise cancelling dynamic boom mic and you have noise cancelling functionality for messages coming and going.

The key is to find ear protection that meets OSHA regulations without sacrificing sound quality or your ability to communicate important messages to the men and women who work for you.

Contact Peak PTT today to learn more about the ease of push to talk communication and how it can help you improve your business communication.


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