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Course 751 - Hearing Conservation Program Management

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier


If you are a safety manager, site superintendent or supervisor, oil and gas safety committee member, or someone who is entering into the occupational safety and health field, this course will help you understand your important responsibilities.

Here's how it works (Read this... it's important!)

  1. Study each course module. Just click on the course "Modules" tab above to get started. It take about 30 minutes to one hour to complete each module, including the quiz.
  2. Complete each module quiz. Each quiz is 5-10 questions. When you submit the quiz, a new web page will load with instant feedback on your answers. After you complete the quiz, start on the next module. There is no need to wait! No hurry either. You are in control of the pace of learning.
  3. If you have questions as you study, just send us an email.

    Course 751 Certificate
    Frame not included.
  4. Order an Optional Certificate. If you want certification of your training, order a high quality certificate. Our training is free. We only charge a small fee to provide documentation of your training. If you are enrolled in one of our professional safety and health programs, you can save money by purchasing the program package that fits your needs. If you just want to purchase the certificate for this course, a link will be provided on your student dashboard after you pass the final exam. Just click on the "Purchase Certificate" Link.

    For individual courses, the PDF certificate is only $, the original certificate is $ (shipping extra), and the PDF & original certificate is $ (shipping extra).
  5. Complete and submit the final course exam.
    • Final exams consist of 20 questions.
    • To meet OSHA requirements, you must pass the final exam with at least a 70% score.
    • If you do not pass the exam, you may retake the exam.
    • If you pass the exam, you may not retake the exam just to raise your score.
    • Most final exam questions are derived from module quizzes.

OK, Let's go!

Have fun and study hard. To start, just click on the "Introduction" tab above.

Introduction picture. Employee in textile mill with hearing protection.

Course Introduction

Millions are Exposed to Hazardous Levels of Noise Each Day

In the United States, four million workers go to work each day in damaging noise. Ten million people have a noise-related hearing loss. Occupational hearing loss is the most common work-related illness in the United States. Approximately 22 million U.S. workers exposed to hazardous noise levels at work, and an additional 9 million exposed to ototoxic chemicals. An estimated $242 million is spent annually on worker’s compensation for hearing loss disability.

In 2007, approximately 23,000 cases were reported of occupational hearing loss that was great enough to cause hearing impairment. In 2008, approximately 2 million U.S. workers were exposed to noise levels at work that put them at risk of hearing loss. Reported cases of hearing loss accounted for 14% of occupational illness in 2007. In 2007, approximately 82% of the cases involving occupational hearing loss were reported among workers in the manufacturing sector. Noise-related hearing loss has been listed as one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns in the United States for more than 25 years. Thousands of workers every year suffer from preventable hearing loss due to high workplace noise levels.

44% of carpenters and 48% of plumbers reported that they had a perceived hearing loss.

High-Risk Industries

While any worker can be at risk for noise-induced hearing loss in the workplace, workers in many industries have higher exposures to dangerous levels of noise. Industries with high numbers of exposed workers include: agriculture; mining; construction; manufacturing and utilities; transportation; and military.

Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupational disease and the second most self-reported occupational illness or injury. Industry specific studies reveal:

  • 44% of carpenters and 48% of plumbers reported that they had a perceived hearing loss.
  • 49% of male, metal/nonmetal miners, will have a hearing impairment by age 50 (vs. 9% of the general population) rising to 70% by age 60.

While any worker can be at risk for noise-induced hearing loss in the workplace, workers in many industries have higher exposures to dangerous levels of noise. Industries with high numbers of exposed workers include: agriculture; mining; construction; manufacturing and utilities; transportation; and military.

What’s the standard?

OSHA sets legal limits, in decibels, on noise exposure in the workplace. A decibel is the unit used to measure the intensity of a sound and we’ll talk more about this later in the course. These limits are based on the average amount of time a workers is exposed to noise over an 8 hour day (called a time-weighted average). It’s important that you’re familiar with two important noise level limits in the workplace:

  1. OSHA's permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 90 dBA for all workers for an 8 hour day.
  2. OSHA requires employers to implement a Hearing Conservation Program where workers are exposed to a time-weighted average noise level of 85 dBA or higher over an 8 hour work shift.

Hearing Conservation Program

OSHA’s hearing conservation program is designed to protect workers with significant occupational noise exposures from hearing impairment even if they are subject to such noise exposures over their entire working lifetimes.

Hearing Conservation Programs require employers to:

  • measure noise levels,
  • provide free annual hearing exams and free hearing protection,
  • provide training, and
  • conduct evaluations of the adequacy of the hearing protectors in use unless changes to tools, equipment and schedules are made so that they are less noisy, and worker exposure to noise is less than the time-weighted average of 85 dBA over an 8 hour work shift.

This course summarizes the required components of OSHA’s hearing conservation program for general industry. It covers monitoring, audiometric testing, hearing protectors, training, and recordkeeping requirements.


To begin your training, click on the module links below. If you are just starting this course, you should start with module 1.

  1. Monitoring Hearing Hazards
  2. How loud is too loud?
  3. Reducing Noise Related Hazards
  4. Hearing Conservation
  5. Hearing Conservation Program Benefits
  6. Hearing Conservation: Required Monitoring

    OPTIONAL Modules 7-9 and quizzes are for reference only. These modules introduce the student to auditing tools, policy considerations, and the direction hearing conservation program management may be headed in the future.

  8. Hearing Conservation Prevention Program Audit
  9. Policy Needs
  10. The future of hearing prevention

Course 751 Final Exam

OSHAcademy course final exams are designed to help ensure students demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the content covered within each course. To help demonstrate this understanding, students must achieve a minimum score of 70% on final exams. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams and, as a result, we do not provide missed questions to students.

After you have studied all of the course material and taken the module quizzes, you can take the final exam. The module quizzes are optional, but we highly recommend you take each quiz, as the questions are similar to those on the final exam.

This is an open book exam. As you are taking the exam, if you find a question you are unsure of, you should use the course study guide or course web pages to research the correct answer. Don't worry if you fail the exam. You can study and retake the exam when you are ready.

If you have already paid for a Certificate Program

If you have already paid for your certificates, your exam score will be displayed in your student dashboard next to the course. You will also be able to view or print the course PDF certificate if you purchased this option. Your PDF transcript will also be automatically updated to include the course.

If you only want free training

You are welcome to take all of our courses for free! We only charge a fee if you want certificates, transcripts and exam scores to document your training. If you have not made a payment for your certificate, we will archive your exam results and you will see "Completed!" next to the course if you passed the exam. If you did not pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher, you will need to retake the exam.

Take the Final Exam

Take the Final Exam

Course 751 Study Guide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or print the study guide if you prefer.

End Notes

  1. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2002). Hearing Conservation. Retrieved from:
  2. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (8/2015). Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention. Retrieved from:
  3. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (2014). Safety and Health Topics: Occupational Noise Exposure. Retrieved from:
  4. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (8/2013). OSHA Technical Manual (OTM): Appendix E-Noise Reduction Rating. Retrieved from:
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2001). DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2001-103: Work Related Hearing Loss. Retrieved from:
  6. CDC A-Z Index of Terms