Question: Several of my employees have complained that our facility is loud. They have asked us to purchase ear plugs for them to wear while working in our shop. It’s only loud one day out of the week when activity within the shop is at its highest, so do we have to go out and buy ear protection for everyone?

Answer:  As the employer, you are required to identify, evaluate and correct all workplace hazards your employees are exposed to. Eliminating the hazard is best, but if that’s not feasible, then you must provide employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) that prevents/significantly reduces the injury potential from the hazardous exposure.

Your employees are complaining about the noise level so you must now determine the noise amount and duration your employees are exposed to. Your State Fund loss prevention consultant or industrial hygienist may be able to help you determine the noise level in your shop and identify methods to reduce and/or protect employees from the exposure.

Find more information at: Cal/OSHA General Safety Orders Related to Personal Safety Devices and Safeguards

The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.