BACK TO YOU: DON HURST
Heavy construction worksites are noisy, and noise is a common safety hazard for industry workers. Failing to protect your hearing can lead to permanent hearing loss. Aside from the hazards that hearing loss can present on and off the job, it can permanently, significantly affect quality of life – making it hard to engage in conversation, social events, enjoy music or other everyday things like the songs of birds.
Protect your hearing at work to avoid life-long hearing loss.
For employers, it’s important to remember workers may be exposed to hazardous noise levels from vehicles and equipment for much of the day. Hearing damage, and the symptoms, can take time to develop. Employers are required to provide hearing tests for workers exposed to average noise levels above 85 dBA and take appropriate preventive measures to control the risks.
The last line of defense and most common control is personal protective equipment such as ear plugs or ear muffs. Remember, these must be worn correctly or they will not fully work. Employers must also be aware of initial and recurring audiometric testing requirements for their workers.
Hearing loss is preventable, so let’s do something about it. If you have questions on hearing loss or controls contact your regional advisor.
Hearing conservation and noise control regulations can be found in Section 12 of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulations. For more information, refer to the Safety Talks and safe-work procedures on the WORKSAFELY™ website at www.mhcaworksafely.ca.