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AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING AN ALLIANCE
BETWEEN
THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
AND
THE NATIONAL HEARING CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to help prevent noise-induced hearing loss in the workplace. OSHA and NHCA (representing hearing health care, private practice, manufacturing, business, academia and government professionals) agree to form an Alliance to use their expertise to help advance a culture of good hearing health by developing and implementing Hearing Conservation Programs (HCPs) and Hearing Loss Prevention Programs (HLPPs)1 while sharing best practices and technical knowledge.

OSHA and the NHCA agree to establish an Alliance to promote healthy and safe working conditions and help prevent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) from exposure to industrial noise and other environmental factors for all workers by:
  • Providing NHCA members with information, guidance and training that will help them protect employees' health and safety by preventing and reducing employee exposures to hazards that result in hearing loss.
     
  • Continuing to facilitate dialogue between health and safety organizations, hearing health care professional organizations, associations and equipment manufacturers.
OSHA and NHCA will work together to achieve the following education and training goal:
  • Develop training courses on noise and hearing loss prevention, including a "Train the Trainer Course" for toolbox talks and a program for vocational school populations.
OSHA and NHCA will work together to achieve the following communication and outreach goals:
  • Create and update electronic assistance tools for OSHA's web page that address noise and hearing conservation for general industry, construction and maritime.
     
  • Collect, promote and share information on NHCA members' best practices, as jointly determined by OSHA and NHCA, with others in the occupational health and safety and hearing health care professions through outreach by NHCA and OSHA.
     
  • Develop a guide for hearing protection (including a matrix for hearing protection devices' usage in various noise settings) that addresses best practices as jointly determined by OSHA and NHCA.
     
  • Design model HCP/HLPPs for the construction and maritime industries.
     
  • Work with other Alliance participants on specific issues and projects for preventing NIHL that are addressed and developed through the Alliance Program.
OSHA and NHCA will also work together to achieve the following goals related to promoting a national dialogue on workplace safety and health:
  • Convene or participate in forums, conferences and roundtable discussions on HCP/HLPPs to help forge innovative ways to prevent hearing loss in the workplace.
     
  • Develop and disseminate information at conferences and events, or through print and electronic media, including links from OSHA's and NHCA's web sites.
An implementation team made up of representatives of OSHA and NHCA will meet to develop a plan of action, determine working procedures, and identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants. In addition, they will communicate on a regular quarterly basis (face-to face or via conference calls) to track and share information on activities and results in achieving the goals of the Alliance. OSHA will encourage State Plan States' and OSHA Consultation Projects' participation on the team.

This agreement will remain in effect for two years from the date of signing and will be automatically renewed thereafter unless terminated by either of the signatories. This agreement may be modified at any time with the concurrence of the signatories and may be terminated for any reason with 30 days written notice from either of the signatories.




 
John Henshaw
Assistant Secretary of Labor


 
Date
 

 
Tim Bailey
President


 
Date


 
1 HCP/HLLPs address a number of issues, including: audiometric testing programs, new developments in hearing protection, hearing protector selection and fitting, motivational techniques, equipment/tool design, maintaining and enhancing communication in the workplace, and solutions to hazards that result in hearing loss.