Improve hearing in your shop or office
Concerts, iPods, cell phones and very loud sporting events may all contribute to loss of hearing over time. It’s true for Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials alike.
Natural hearing loss can start about age 40 regardless of other environmental factors.
When working with older employees, it’s possible they may not properly hear the instructions you just shouted across the room. Sometimes certain tones or frequency ranges ‘drop out’ and become inaudible. Ringing in the ears, a condition known as tinnitus, also can make it difficult to hear warning shouts or instructions in a noisy environment. An unheard warning shout could result in an injury accident.
- Make sure that hearing protection is always worn when noise levels are consistently over 85db (WRA members can find a noise level chart here and there are noise apps for your smart phone here).
- Try to reduce background noise levels as low as possible by shielding noisy equipment.
- Provide important information visually.
- Reduce echoing 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 completely once it deteriorates.
WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or firstname.lastname@example.org