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Use of personal protective equipment to mitigate noise exposure in 2020

July 27, 2021

In 2020, 71.4 percent of production workers and 78.4 percent of transportation and material moving workers were exposed to moderate noise at work. Another 25.2 percent of production workers and 19.8 percent of transportation and material moving workers were exposed to loud noise.

Percent of workers exposed to noise intensity levels, 2020
Noise intensity Production occupations Transportation and material moving occupations

Quiet noise

3.1% 1.7%

Moderate noise

71.4 78.4

Loud noise

25.2 19.8

Noise exposure measures the noise intensity experienced by workers while using personal protective equipment. Fifty-one percent of production workers and 13.8 percent of transportation and material moving workers used personal protective equipment to mitigate exposure to noise. Instances where personal protective equipment fully mitigates exposure to noise are included in quiet noise exposure.

Percent of workers using personal protective equipment to mitigate noise intensity, 2020
Use of personal protective equipment Production occupations Transportation and material moving occupations

Not using personal protective equipment

49.0% 86.2%

Using personal protective equipment

51.0 13.8

These data are from the Occupational Requirements Survey. For more information, see “Occupational Requirements in the United States — 2020.”

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Use of personal protective equipment to mitigate noise exposure in 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/use-of-personal-protective-equipment-to-mitigate-noise-exposure-in-2020.htm (visited September 27, 2021).

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