Don’t Damage Your Hearing on the Job
October is National Protect Your Hearing Month
Power tools and gas-powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers are some of the tools facility managers and building services contractors use that can cause permanent hearing loss. Each year, about 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work, making hearing loss one of the most common work-related injuries in the country, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). However, about 70 percent of people exposed to loud noise never or seldom use hearing protection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Eliminate the source of the noise.
- If elimination is not possible, substitute loud equipment, such as vacuums and power tools, with quieter models.
- Limit workers’ time using loud equipment.
- Provide free hearing protection devices, such as earplugs or earmuffs, to workers.
- Provide a quiet area for breaks to remove workers from the source of the noise.