Concerts, iPods, thunderous sporting events, and work in loud locations may contribute to an individual suffering hearing loss in the future. These sources of sound are affecting Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers as well as Millennials. Additionally, we all experience a natural degradation of our sense of hearing which most experience after the age of 40. Therefore, external factors combined with the aging process can make our loss of hearing an even more significant concern.
When working with seasoned employees, be aware that instructions you shout from across the room may not be heard clearly, if at all. This is because certain tones or frequency ranges can drop out and be inaudible. In addition, the employee might also be experiencing a ringing in their ears, a condition known as tinnitus, that can make it difficult for the employee to hear warning shouts or instructions in a noisy environment.
- Ensure that hearing protection is always worn when noise levels are over consistently over 85db. A noise level chart can be found here. You can also find several noise apps for your smartphone here.
- Try to reduce background noise levels as much as possible by shielding noisy equipment.
- Communicate important information visually.
- Reduce echoing in the workplace with improved acoustics.
- Sirens or warning alarms should have alternating frequencies (think of a European police car siren).
- Provide hands-free telephone headsets with adjustable volume switches.
- Speak clearly.
Technology can help us improve hearing somewhat, but hearing is something that we can’t get back once it is gone.
Contact our Director of Safety and Education to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Rick Means at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected]