A worker wearing a PAPR and earplugs.

Noise hazards

Learn how to better protect against the long-term damage that can be caused by excessive noise.

View the abrasive safety assessment guide

Noise — normally defined as unwanted sound — is one of the most common health hazards.* The human ear is so sensitive, it can detect pressure changes as small as 20µPa and so prolonged exposure to excessive levels of workplace noise can lead to irreversible, yet entirely preventable, hearing damage that can significantly impact a person’s day-to-day life.

*Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. www.ccohs.ca


Workplace noise hazards

  • An icon of an ear with sound waves.
    High or sustained noise

    High or sustained noise levels can quickly damage the pressure-sensitive organs within the ear.

  • A volume icon.
    Loud sound events

    Single loud sound events, or prolonged exposure to persistent levels of noise, can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss, along with other conditions such as tinnitus.

Employers’ responsibility

According to Canada Labour Code, Part II, (R.S.C. 1985, c. L-2), Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, (SOR/86-304) and local (provincial) regulations, there are certain steps employers must take to protect their employees. Employers must prevent or reduce noise-related risks to their staff.

*Content source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. www.ccohs.ca and independent testing by VITO


Managing and preventing noise hazards

  • An icon of a toolbox with a wrench on it.
    Use high-efficiency abrasives

    Switching to high-performance abrasives help reduce noise exposure as they cut faster, allowing jobs to be completed in a shorter time.

    View efficient abrasive products  

  • An icon showing sound levels.
    Monitor and minimize noise exposure

    Measuring the noise levels affecting workers allows management to better determine the best steps for mitigating harmful levels of noise. Where possible, opperations should be designed in such a way so as to minimize noise exposure.

  • An icon of protective ear muffs.
    Use Personal protective equipment (PPE)

    Personal protective equipment, such as earplugs and headsets, can be used to help mitigate hearing damage from damaging levels of noise.

    See worker health and safety products  


Learn more about abrasives safety

A metalworker grinding a piece of metal.

See for yourself how 3M Abrasives can help you mitigate hazards

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See for yourself how 3M Abrasives can help you mitigate hazards in your work place, keeping you and your operators safe.

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3M reserves the right to discontinue or terminate this offer at any time. 3M reserves the right to provide demos 3M Abrasives to those who complete the web request form and qualify. Available to Canadian residents only. Limit of one sample per person. No purchase necessary. No substitutions, refunds, transfers or cash equivalent payments will be allowed. One demo per person and/or address. Please allow 2-4 weeks for follow up. 3M is not liable for undelivered samples.


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