Working on a construction site can expose you to high levels of noise for long durations at a time. There are a variety of high-level sounds that a construction worker may encounter, whether this be from digging, concrete pouring, and angle grinding. Research has shown that 51% of workers have been exposed to hazardous noise, with 52% admitting to not wearing hearing protection. Over time this can start to have a negative effect on your hearing and permanently damage your ear drum. If workers are exposed to levels of noise above 85bd then protectionis required by law.
What are the law requirements?
The law requires all employers to provide employees with adequate hearing protection if they ask for it, providing that they are exposed to sufficient levels of noise. It is compulsory to create mandatory hearing protectionzones and ensure that these are marked clearly so that workers are aware that hearing should be worn at all times within this area, to prevent hearing damage. Employers must provide adequate training and information on how to properly use and maintain ear protection.
Selecting quality ear plugs
It is vital to choose high quality ear plugs that are comfortable, practical and of course, do a good job protecting your employee’s ears. Milwaukee ear plugs have 3 different ways of being worn, to ensure maximum comfort and durability. They can be worn above the head, below the chin, or behind the neck and they can also berotated regularly to change pressure points. They also feature pivot points to keep the band comfortable and secure when being worn. Ear plugs are the highest form of ear protection you can get, and as they sit in the ear canal,which reduce pressure to the highest extent.
Read also: All you need to know about construction PPE
It is important to be proactive when it comes to employee safety and beon the right side of the law at all times. Ensure that you have conducted a noise assessment and that you have taken all necessary steps if noise exceeds a sufficient level, this could include eliminating the noise at the original source. Other popular and practical ways to help reduce noise is within the design of the site, by creating duct walls and pre- channelled walls to reduce noise. Consider swapping machinery to silent generators, and using low noise omitting machines to further reduce the level of noise that workers are exposed to.Sufficient training on how to protect yourself and others from noise should be given to everyone who accesses the site, as well as information on what to do if they feel as though their hearing is starting to be affected.
Not only does hearing protection aid in protecting the individual, they also minimise the risk across the site as communication is improved, leading to less accidents and a safer working environment