Reasons Employees Don’t Wear Hearing Protection
Believe it or not, our hearing ability is a huge investment when it comes to work. That’s why it’s essential to take good care of our ear health while in the work field as much as possible.
There are several work environments that expose employees to noise levels that are actually unsafe and could promote hearing-loss such as places like construction sites or steel mills. It is vital for workers to keep a sound hearing ability as it is a crucial factor within the work environment, e.g. with regards to communication.
Without the use of proper hearing protection devices (HPD), workers may not be able to protect themselves from occupational noise exposure and thus it might be the case for them to acquire hearing impairment, or worse, hearing loss. This could also be the grounds for reduced productivity of workers in the field.
Unfortunately, most workers don’t wear HPD because of a number of reasons which affect their consideration to do so. Here they are:
Reason 1: Comfort Level
Wearing HPD for some workers depend on how they actually ‘feel’ while wearing them. The comfort level of any wearable device greatly matters. Wearing HPD that are built and designed with very little consideration to a wearer’s ease may in fact be the grounds of some workers to NOT wear them at all.
The solution for this Hearing Protection Device dilemma is to actually give a good amount of time to actually canvass and research about which types of HPD prefer, both ease and functionality. After all, a comfortable worker is a productive one.
Reason 2: Supply vs. Demand
Sometimes, certain work environments lack in supply of hearing protection devices, so that not all of the workers get to wear one. Because of such a HPD deficit, some employees tend to work with no aid of HPD in an excessively noisy environment, e.g. construction sites and airport fields, to name a few.
In other cases, workers tend to go from one area to another. That’s why areas which are prone to high levels of noise should have hearing protection available for roaming workers at all times.
Reason 3: Hearing Conservation Training
Companies that operate in environments with extreme noise levels should consider organizing Hearing Conservation Training for their workforce. Not only is it crucial for firms to consider the wellness of their workers but it can also help their employees work productively.
Also, promoting initial training can help workers gain knowledge on the importance of HPD usage to their own benefit as well as promote the habit of wearing HPD at work.
Reason 4: Noise Levels in an Environment
Of course, the demand on the use of hearing protection in the work field depends on the nature of work. More specifically, hearing protection device usage considers the levels of noise that are being produced in the environment plus the length of time that workers are exposed to such noise.
Simply put, if you work in an ordinary office environment then you would not need earplugs or earmuffs, since such environment has very little probability of exposure to extreme noise. The only earplugs you’ll be needing in an office are earphones so you can stay upbeat and groovy while at work.
On the contrary, work environments that are exposed to tremendous noise levels should always consider HPD for workers, e.g. power drills that register 98 decibels (dB) which could cause hearing damage in a matter of 30 minutes.
To sum it up, in working environments with noise level ranging from 85 dB (the “Action” level) and up, workers must consider wearing HPD to protect them from damaging their hearing ability.
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