Sound The Alarm: The Essentials of Hearing Protection

September 30, 2014 by


Loud machines, jackhammers, construction sites and warehouses, they all carry with them an immense amount of noise that has lasting effects on your workers whether you realize it or not. Approximately 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work daily.  An estimated $242 million is spent annually on worker’s compensation for hearing loss disability.

While there are many types of protection out there, what goes into selecting the proper noise protection for your job?

Consider the environment that you’ll be working in. Do you need a portable solution? Or how about something that is better suited for long term use. Will it be hot and humid requiring a more comfortable solution? Or do you need something that won’t interfere with the other PPE that is required for the job.

No matter what the job is, there is a solution to properly protecting your workforce. However not all ears are created equal so there may also be differing solutions within a single working environment.

Consider the following when making your selection:

  • OSHA states that permissible exposures for an 8 hour period should never go above 90 decibels and decibels of 115 should not be experienced over 20 minutes.
  • When shopping, hearing protection options should carry a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), which is a unit of measurement used to determine the effectiveness of hearing protection devices to decrease sound exposure within a given working environment.
  • When selecting protection NIOSH recommends derating hearing protectors by a factor that corresponds to the available real-world data. Specifically, NIOSH recommends that the labeled NRRs be derated as follows:
    • Earmuffs – Subtract 25% from the manufacturer’s labeled NRR
    • Formable earplugs – Subtract 50% from the manufacturer’s labeled NRR
    • All other earplugs – Subtract 70% from the manufacturers labeled NRR
  • If you choose to combine hearing protectors (i.e. earplugs and earmuffs) rather than adding the two NRR numbers you simply add 5 more decibels of protection to the device with the higher NRR

Here is a chart to help you determine what might be excessive noise in your workplace:


Find out more about the effects of loud noise exposure and safety solutions here:

Workplace Safety News Roundup

September 26, 2014 by


New Test May Predict Worker Hearing Loss

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 30 million Americans are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work. A new study suggests a simple test can predict which workers will be affected by high noise levels at work.
Read more about the test and its limitations here:

The younger face of workplace safety and what OSHA is doing about it

As part of its efforts to curb workplace injuries, OSHA is attempting to educate young workers on their rights, in part, by creating a special webpage for young workers with access to blogs, real-life stories of workplace accidents, a list of known workplace hazards in industries and jobs typically filled by young workers, and various other resources including reporting mechanisms.

To learn more about the resources being provided click here:

Workplace violations

Roofing contractor exposed workers to falls, faces nearly $300,000 in OSHA fines for deliberately and repeatedly failing to use legally required fall protection for its employees at two New Britain work sites and exposing workers to potentially fatal falls. Gravity doesn’t give you a second chance. If you fall and there is no effective fall protection in place, the result could end your career or your life.

To read more click here:

Worker crushed by machinery at Youngstown, Ohio, steel mill. The machine operator suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis, and has been unable to return to work. The investigation found that Youngstown steel mill workers were exposed to crushing, amputation and fall hazards. Proposed penalties total $94,000.

To read more click here:

OSHA cites company with 38 violations for exposing workers to a cancer-causing health hazard; fines total $341,550. Citations included failure to provide safe personal protective equipment for exposed workers; failure to prevent ingestion of food and drinks and absorption in hazardous areas; and failure to properly train workers exposed to hazards. Repeat violations also existed having been previously cited for the same or a similar violation within the last five years.

To read more click here:


Get Familiar with Respirator Types

September 25, 2014 by

The first respirator has been traced back to the first century when Pliny the Elder (A.D. 23-79) described the use of animal bladder skins to protect roman miners from red lead oxide dust. Needless to say we’ve come a long way in terms of respirator technology but the goal remains the same: prevent harmful particles from being inhaled. Respirators today come in a variety of forms.


Nowadays, there are 4 popular kinds of respirators separated by how they work: mechanical filter respirators, chemical cartridge respirators, powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR) and self-contained breathing apparatuses(SCBA).

Read the rest of this entry »

Breaking News: How the New OSHA Reporting Requirements Affect You

September 22, 2014 by


In an effort to further the safety of all workers and the swift correction of any life threatening hazards that are lurking around your facility, OSHA has updated its recordkeeping rule to expand a list of severe injuries that employers must report.

As of January 1, 2015, all employers must report

  1. All work-related fatalities within 8 hours.
  2. All work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all amputations and all losses of an eye within 24 hours.

You can report to OSHA by

  1. Calling OSHA’s free and confidential number at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
  2. Calling your closest Area Office during normal business hours.
  3. Using the new online form that will soon be available.


Only fatalities occurring within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported to OSHA. Further, for an in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye, these incidents must be reported to OSHA only if they occur within 24 hours of the work-related incident.

Employers with ten or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year remain exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records .

Establishments in certain low-hazard industries are also exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records. This list has been comprised of establishments in the divisions of retail trade; finance, insurance and real estate; and the service industry. OSHA has updated the list of low-hazard industries and is now classified by the North American Industry Classification system.

Cleaning Up for the New School Year

September 16, 2014 by

Summer has run its course, and school has begun. Naturally, administrators and other school personnel will now have to face the many challenges the new school year will bring. Besides education-related issues, general maintenance and cleanliness are two important issues that should not be overlooked.

Many administrators and school facility managers find the school year demanding enough that little time is left for planning maintenance and repairs. Enrollment, budgeting, and drawing up and implementing policies are only a few of the many issues school personnel must deal with. As such, Emedco offers a few tips in keeping the school in proper condition and addressing maintenance problems that may occur during the year (or may have occurred during the vacation).

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