Course 159 Hearing Protection: Basic

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Course 159 Certificate
Frame not included.
Modules: 2
Hours: 1
Sectors: All Industries

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Course 159 Hearing Protection: Basic

Key Topics

  • Sound vs. Noise
  • Noise Exposure and Action Level
  • Audiometric Testing
  • Standard Threshold Shift
  • Hearing Conservation Program
  • Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs)

Target Audience

  • Employees
  • Supervisors

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


osha photo
Repeated high intensity noise will cause hearing loss.

Noise, or unwanted sound, is one of the most common occupational hazards in American workplaces. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that 30 million workers in the United States are exposed to hazardous noise. Exposure to high levels of noise may cause hearing loss, create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication, and contribute to accidents and injuries by making it difficult to hear warning signals.

Other consequences of excessive workplace noise exposure include interference with communications and performance. Workers might find it difficult to understand speech or auditory signals in areas with high noise levels. Noisy environments also lead to a sense of isolation, annoyance, difficulty concentrating, lowered morale, reduced efficiency, absenteeism, and accidents.

In some individuals, excessive noise exposure can contribute to other physical effects. These can include muscle tension and increased blood pressure (hypertension). Noise exposure can also cause a stress reaction, interfere with sleep, and cause fatigue.

This course will introduce you to the basics of sound and how exposure to excessive workplace noise can damage hearing. We'll also look at the Hierarchy of Controls for hearing protection, the various types of hearing protection available, and information on the Hearing Conservation Program and employee training.

Modules and Learning Objectives

Click on the links below to access the modules. You can also click on the links at the top of the page.

Module 1 - Noise and the Basics of Hearing Loss

Learning objectives in this module include:

  • Define "sound" and "noise" and discuss how they differ in meaning.
  • Describe how sound is measured in the decibel system.
  • Discuss the affects to hearing of exposure to excessive noise and hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
  • Describe symptoms and ways to detect possible hearing loss.
  • Describe the methods used to evaluate noise exposure in the workplace.
  • Identify and describe the two basic types of sound level meters used to evaluate noise levels in the workplace.

Module 2 - Hazard Controls and Protective Measures

Learning objectives in this module include:

  • Describe the three primary strategies in the Hierarchy of Controls for hearing protection.
  • Give an example of an engineering control to eliminate or reduce noise at the source.
  • Give at least three examples of administrative controls to limit exposure to excessive noise in the workplace.
  • Describe the three types of hearing protective devices (HPDs) commonly used in the workplace.
  • Define and describe the concept of "attenuation" as it relates to hearing protection.
  • Describe employee training requirements in the Hearing Conservation Program.
  • List and describe the five components of the Hearing Conservation Program.
  • Describe basic employee responsibilities related to hearing protection.

Please login to your student dashboard to access and download this FREE course PDF studyguide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or print the study guide if you prefer.

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Course 159 Final Exam

Exam score sheet

After studying the course material and answering the quiz questions, it is time to take the final exam. We highly recommend answering the module quiz questions to check your understanding of the course material. The final exam questions are typically developed from these quiz questions.

OSHAcademy course final exams are designed to make sure students have gained a sufficient understanding of the content covered within each course. To help demonstrate this understanding, students must achieve a passing score on course final exams. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams: as a result, we do not provide missed questions to students.

This is an open book exam. Students are permitted to use a separate browser window to review course content while taking the exam. If you do not pass a final exam, you will see a "Retake Exam" button next to the course on your student dashboard.

If you have already paid for your certificate

If you have already paid for certificates, your exam score will be displayed on your student dashboard after successfully passing the final exam. If you chose PDF certificates, you can view and print your certificate and personal transcript from your student dashboard. If you chose original printed documents, they will be prepared and mailed to the address in your student account.

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