OSHA, NIOSH, NHCA Ally Against Noise, Ototoxic Chemical Exposures

OSHA announced a new alliance on Feb. 22 among itself, NIOSH, and the National Hearing Conservation Association. They'll help NHCA members, young employees, small businesses, and others reduce and prevent exposures to noise and ototoxic chemicals. "Millions of employees face the risk of hearing loss due to occupational exposure to high noise levels on the job," OSHA chief Edwin Foulks Jr. said. "We are pleased to join with these organizations. Through this alliance, we are committed to develop and provide resources to eliminate the risk of hearing loss and help employers protect the hearing of their employees."

The trio will develop new training materials and share information through workshops, seminars, outreach, and presentations at meetings. "We are pleased to join with OSHA and NHCA in this collaboration to prevent work-related hearing loss, one of the most common occupational illnesses," said NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard. "This is a particularly important and timely collaboration for protecting young workers from exposures that can greatly diminish their quality of life and for helping small businesses stay productive and competitive in today's demanding economy."

Information about ototoxic chemicals is available at an online NIOSH topic page. There, 14 papers delivered at an April 11-12, 2002, Best Practices Workshop in Cincinnati that was titled "Combined Effects of Chemicals and Noise on Hearing" are at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/noise/research/noiseandchem/noiseandchem.html. The event was co-sponsored by the NIOSH NORA Hearing Loss Team and NHCA.

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