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Released July 7, 2003

HEARING CONSERVATION WORKSHOP SET FOR AUG. 11-13
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI

HATTIESBURG - A three-day workshop designed for industrial nurses, safety engineers and others responsible for safeguarding hearing in the workplace is scheduled for Aug. 11-13 at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The Industrial Audiometry and Hearing Conservation Workshop is being coordinated by the Southern Miss Department of Continuing Education and Distributed Learning.

The course is tailored to personnel responsible for complying with Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) regulations applicable to noise and hearing loss.

Dr. Bob Rhodes, a certified Council for Accreditation on Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC) course director, will be the instructor.

"The Hearing Conservation Workshop at Southern Miss is designed for anybody in industry who is responsible for, or who just wants to learn about the OSHA regulation," Rhode said. "It covers who must comply, and how to test hearing.

"We also cover anatomy of the hearing mechanism, acoustics, the fitting of hearing protection, record-keeping, noise measurement and other related topics."

Rhodes has been directing similar workshops since 1971, when the OSHA regulation covering workplace noise levels first appeared. In 2002, he ranked fourth in the United States in number of people trained.

The noisiest workplaces in the country, Rhodes said, are typically found in the automotive industry, or any workplace where the unmuffled use of internal combustion engines is commonplace.

"The wood and paper industries that use moving saw blades are also quite noisy," He said.

Noise in the workplace is measured in two ways. A sound-level meter is used in environments where there is little or no variation in noise levels, and a device called a dosimeter is used where conditions vary.

The dosimeter collects sound over the course of a workday then produces a reading applicable to that environment.

Rhodes said that there is a significant problem with hearing loss in the United States, industrial and otherwise.

"There are some 28 million people in the United States with hearing loss," Rhodes said. "Not all of those, of course, are noise related, but this kind of loss is the most preventable. Not all noise-related loss is industrial; lots of it is recreational, like rock music, loud motor vehicles, racing cars, etc.

"Other causes of hearing loss are aging, history of loss in the family, diseases, certain ototoxic medications, etc."

The Industrial Audiometry and Hearing Conservation Workshop will be held in Room 239 of Harkins Hall on the Southern Miss campus. The fee for the two-and-a-half day certification course is $400.

The second day of the workshop, Aug. 12, serves as an eight-hour recertification course. The fee for this one-day recertification is $160.

Those interested in the workshop may register by calling (601) 266-4186 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or in person in Room 307 of McLemore Hall on the Southern Miss campus.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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