Safety

NIOSH warns transcriptionists of noise hazard

OSHA Healthcare Connection, August 9, 2005

Dictation headsets may expose medical transcriptions to risks from excessive noise in the workplace, says the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Report, issued in June 2005.

NIOSH investigated complaints from transcriptionists at three California healthcare facilities by measuring background noise and the C-phone dictation devices used. NIOSH recommended that transcriptionists set the volume control in the middle position or lower to maintain a safe noise level during an eight-hour work shift.

Other ways for employers to reduce hearing-loss hazards to employees are:

  • Working with dictation device manufacturers to reduce noise levels
  • Training physicians in effective dictation techniques
  • Offering yearly hearing tests to transcriptionists

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