Tradies across the country are at risk of developing permanent hearing loss due to noise hazards on the job. They are being urged to ‘listen’ to the latest guidelines on how to protect their hearing health. It is as simple as wearing hearing protection devices – at work and during leisure time.
Hearing loss due to excessive noise from machinery and power tools is one of the most widespread, yet preventable, workplace injuries. But there is good news, with recent findings showing that tradies who use hearing protection devices at work are also more likely to use them during noisy leisure pursuits.
Elizabeth Beach at National Acoustic Laboratories says “If you’ve worked with noisy machinery or tools and have noticed that you can’t hear the television or phone as well as you used to, or if you’re noticing you need to ask people to repeat themselves, you might have sustained some noise-induced hearing damage.”
– Buy quiet to save your hearing: One of the most effective ways of reducing noise is to ‘buy quiet’. Next time you need to purchase a new saw or drill, check the manufacturer specifications and choose a model with a lower noise rating.
– Choose well-fitted hearing protection to keep industrial noise below harmful levels.
– Choose hearing protection that’s comfortable to wear for long periods – whether earmuffs or ear plugs, disposable or reusable – it’s critical to find a style that works for you.
– Remember: 85 decibels is considered the Safe Noise Threshold – if the sound of your tools is loud enough that you need to raise your voice to be heard, appropriate hearing protection should be worn.