Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New approach to hearing protection

New ways to reduce noise for workers ...

"The incidence of noise induced hearing loss is as high as 60% in noisy workplaces. Brad Witt calls for a new approach by safety professionals, looking beyond traditional Sound Level Conversion class ratings in protective equipment to consider the human factors.

"In spite of growing awareness of hearing loss and increased efforts to combat it, the incidence of noise induced hearing loss among industrial workers continues to rise," says Brad Witt, Audiology and Regulatory Affairs Manager for the Hearing Safety GroupBacou-Dalloz.

He cites a study of the Australian construction industry (Milhinch, Dineen & Doyle, 1997) that has shown the incidence of noise induced hearing loss to be as high as 60% in noisy workplaces.

Witt calls for a new approach by safety professionals, looking beyond traditional Sound Level Conversion class ratings in protective equipment to consider the human factors that undermine hearing conservation efforts, he says, and look at new technologies now becoming available.

"By gaining a better understanding of how workers view noise, their hearing and hearing protection devices--as well as how they actually use safety protection tools on the job-safety professionals can make better purchasing choices and help reduce the likelihood of continued noise-induced hearing loss incidents." He advocates an approach based on what he calls the "four C's--Caring, Comfort, Convenience, and Communication."   continued ...   (Via Bacou-Dalloz)

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