Slide 2 of 14
One of the first questions to answer is: What kind of budget should we expect to
assign for the purpose of protecting a workers hearing health?
At the regulatory level, this issue has been addressed several times: first of all back
in 1976 with the cost impact analysis performed for the proposed change of the standard,
and then again in 1983 it was revisited with the Hearing Conservation Amendment, and
finally in 1992 it was revisited again. In each one of those cases, if we translate those
dollars into current dollars or reasonably current dollars we can see all three are in the
same range. The hard cost of services for things like monitoring, audiometric testing,
hearing protection, etc. basically ranges from $60 to over $80 per employee per year.
For the purpose of this discussion, I would like to focus on the cost estimates for the
1983 Hearing Conservation Amendment which would give us a per worker budget of $63 per
year to use for hearing loss prevention services and tools.