HEARING CONSERVATION FACT SHEET
Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the top Occupational Health Hazards in the
military. Repeated unprotected exposure to hazardous noise may cause
permanent, irreversible damage to hearing.
The good news: Hearing loss from noise exposure can almost always be
prevented through proper use of personal hearing protective devices, such as
earplugs or noise muffs. Hearing protection must be worn whenever entering and
remaining in a potentially noise hazardous area.
The goal of the Navy & Marine Corps Hearing Conservation Program is to
prevent occupationally related noise-induced hearing loss among military and
civilian employees. Hazardous noise is defined as:
>84 dBA steady-state or continuous noise
>140 dB Peak impulse or impact noise
You can determine the likely presence of hazardous noise by employing the
following general rule: If you have to shout to a listener who is at a distance of 3
feet or less away from you in order to be understood, you are in a noise-hazardous
area or environment.
It is the individual’s responsibility to use personal protective equipment, such as
earplugs or noise muffs. The wearing of hearing protection in occupational noise
hazards is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA),
DODINST 6055.12, OPNAVINST 5100.23 Series, OPNAVINST 5100.19 Series
and NEHC TM 6260.51.99 Series. It is the unit or shop supervisor’s
responsibility to purchase and provide the necessary protective devices for their
Individuals should report possible problems associated with noise or hearing to
their immediate supervisor and request a hearing test, or seek medical assistance,
if appropriate. For specific questions about the Navy & Marine Corps Hearing
Conservation Program, contact your local Hearing Conservation Program
Manager or Audiology Clinic.