In the world of construction it is imperative you protect your hearing from the dangerous day to day noise.
Research at the University of Washington has identified high noise exposure levels (and high rates of noise-induced hearing loss) among construction workers, and little compliance with noise exposure standards. The good news is that many organizations are working hard to develop practical ways to prevent hearing loss in construction, and that there’s a lot of information available on noise and hearing loss. Please refer to the information provided at washington.edu
Hearing Loss Prevention for Construction and Demolition Workers. Helps employers prevent occupational hearing loss among construction and demolition workers and applies to all construction and demolition workers with potential noise exposures (continuous, intermittent and impulse) of 85 decibels, A-weighted (dBA) and above. It was approved by ANSI on March 5, 2007, and by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) on March 20, 2007.
Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health (eLCOSH), (2002). Reports that the highest percentages of overexposed workers in the construction industry occur in highway and street construction, carpentry, and concrete work. Of the approximately 5 million construction workers in 1995, the total number exposed to noise levels of 85 dBA and above was about 754,000. osha.gov
The symptoms of noise induced hearing loss are subtle in the early stages. Hearing loss tends to occur first for high-pitched sounds only. Consequently, the volume of sound heard may be unchanged but the quality of it lessens. Speech may be heard but not completely understood. The presence of background noise can make speech hard to understand. Noise induced hearing loss can be accompanied by a ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Tinnitus can often be more annoying than the hearing loss itself. Treatment of tinnitus is often unsatisfactory.
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I’ve worked in construction most of my life. I am sick of wearing ear plugs that prohibit me from hearing my employees when I need to. The new Tactical Hearing product I use is unbelievable. My hearing is protected and I can always hear what is going on around me. They work great at the shooting range as well. – Leo Anderson, UT
How can I tell if my hearing is damaged?
Hearing loss usually develops over a period of several years. Because it is painless and gradual, you might not notice it. What you might notice is a ringing or other sound in your ear (tinnitus), which could be the result of long-term exposure to noise that has damaged hearing nerves. Or you may have trouble understanding what people say; they may seem to be mumbling, especially when you are in a noisy place such as a crowd or a party. This could be the beginning of high-frequency hearing loss; a hearing test will detect it.
Decibels (dB) measure the intensity of sound. The scale runs from the faintest sound the human ear can detect, which is labeled 0 dB, to more than 180 dB, the noise at a rocket pad during launch. Most experts agree that continual exposure to more than 85 decibels is dangerous. Recent studies show an alarming increase in noise-related hearing loss in shooters.
- Exposure to impulsive or impact noise should not exceed 140 dB peak sound pressure level.
- If the variations in noise level involve maxima at intervals of 1 second or less, it is to be considered continuous.
- Sounds 85dB and above continuously over a period of time has been known to cause severe hearing damage.
- Please refer to the information provided at osha.gov
Pitch is the frequency of sound vibrations per second measured in hertz or kilohertz, and duration. A low pitch, such as a deep voice or a tuba, makes fewer vibrations per second than a high voice or violin—the higher the pitch, the higher the frequency. Loss of high-frequency hearing also can make speech sound muffled.
If you are exposed to noisy environments through your profession or recreational activities (such as shooting, aviation, or dentistry) call us today to learn more about our products and how they can help enhance your hearing while protecting your hearing from further damage.