How To Protect Your Hearing In A Noisy Workplace
    • Last updated October 17, 2023
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How To Protect Your Hearing In A Noisy Workplace

Posted By Attunehearing Attunehearing     October 17, 2023    


Workplaces in Australia, especially those in industrial sectors, can expose employees to high levels of noise. It’s essential to understand the potential risks to our hearing health and employ protective measures. If left unchecked, excessive noise can lead to permanent hearing damage, a condition that may significantly impact the quality of life.
Understanding the Risks
Prolonged exposure to loud noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. In Australia, the recommended safe exposure limit is 85 decibels (dB) over an 8-hour period. To put that in perspective, the noise level of typical conversations is about 60 dB, while machinery and tools can exceed 100 dB. Continual exposure above the safe limit can gradually degrade our inner ear’s hair cells, leading to hearing impairment.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Earmuffs and Earplugs: The first line of defence against loud noises is wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Earmuffs provide a seal around the entire ear, offering excellent protection, especially for extremely loud environments. On the other hand, earplugs are inserted into the ear canal and are more suitable for environments where earmuffs might be cumbersome.
Choosing the Right PPE: Not all hearing protection is created equal. Look for the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) on the product, which indicates the amount of protection provided. For best results, consult with a professional from companies like Attune to ensure you’re selecting the right equipment for your specific environment.
Sound Control at Source
Machinery Maintenance: Regularly servicing and maintaining machinery can reduce the noise generated. Old or faulty machines tend to emit more noise. Ensuring they run efficiently can lead to a quieter workplace.
Sound Barriers: Installing barriers around particularly noisy equipment can help reduce the spread of sound throughout a facility. Materials like foam or acoustic panels can absorb sound, reducing its impact on surrounding areas.
Adopt a Hearing Conservation Program
Companies should consider implementing a hearing conservation program. Such programs involve routine hearing tests, providing PPE, training staff on the importance of hearing protection and monitoring noise levels in the workplace.
Be Proactive and Seek Professional Advice
Having regular hearing check-ups, even if you’re not noticing any issues, is crucial. Audiologists, like the ones at Attune, are well-equipped to detect early signs of hearing loss and can provide guidance on protective measures.
While many workplaces come with their fair share of noise, it’s essential to be proactive in protecting your hearing. By understanding the risks, utilising PPE, controlling sound at its source, and seeking expert advice, we can ensure a future with clear and healthy hearing.