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TOP 20 SAFETY HAZARDS #18 HEARING PROTECTION. OSHA STANDARDS 1926.101(a) Wherever it is not feasible to reduce the noise levels or duration of exposures.

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Presentation on theme: "TOP 20 SAFETY HAZARDS #18 HEARING PROTECTION. OSHA STANDARDS 1926.101(a) Wherever it is not feasible to reduce the noise levels or duration of exposures."— Presentation transcript:

1 TOP 20 SAFETY HAZARDS #18 HEARING PROTECTION

2 OSHA STANDARDS (a) Wherever it is not feasible to reduce the noise levels or duration of exposures to those specified in Table D-2, Permissible Noise Exposures, in , ear protective devices shall be provided and used (b) Ear protective devices inserted in the ear shall be fitted or determined individually by competent persons (c) Plain cotton is not an acceptable protective device.

3 PROTECTION… With over 200 models to choose from you can find a protector you like. They cover a wide variety of needs from shooting to sleeping. When you find that ordinary ear plugs just do not work because they fall out, hurt, or simply don't block enough noise, then consider full custom earplugs

4 When is it required??? There are regulations that state when hearing protection is mandatory; however, a good rule of thumb is that hearing protection should be used if you have to shout at someone standing 3 feet away from you to be heard over the noise. The two most frequent problems encountered are people not wearing the hearing protection when it is required or not wearing it correctly.

5 Learn More About Hearing Loss Prevention meter_flash/soundMeter_flash.html meter_flash/soundMeter_flash.html Play around with the NIOSH’s Noise Meter and hear the different sounds and sound intensities of everyday objects. The red bar on the next slide shows how long it takes before a particular sound level becomes dangerous to the human ear. For example, a chain saw has a sound intensity of about 110 dB. Without proper hearing protection, running a chain saw for only 2 minutes can become dangerous to the human ear!

6 NIOSH’s NOISE METER….

7 Do You Know? Ten million Americans have already suffered irreversible damage from noise, and thirty million more are exposed to dangerous levels of noise each day. The good news? Noise-induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable.

8 Protect Your Ears 150 Firecracker 120 Ambulance siren 110 Chain saw, Rock concert 105 Personal stereo system at maximum level 100 Wood shop, Snowmobile 95 Motorcycle 90 Power mower 85 Heavy city traffic 60 Normal conversation 40 Refrigerator humming 30 Whispered voice Know which noises can cause damage. Wear ear plugs when you are involved in a loud activity. 110 Decibels Regular exposure of more than 1 minute risks permanent hearing loss. 100 Decibels No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure recommended. 85 Decibels Prolonged exposure to any noise at or above 85 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss.

9 THE EAR The shape of the ear canal can affect how well earplugs fit. The damage from exposure occurs in the inner ear When all the hair cells are damaged, complete deafness occurs People who say they are “used to the noise” often have already lost some of their hearing.

10 THE EAR…. I Tiny hair cells inside the ear are moved by sound waves Loud noise knocks the hair cells over Eventually they never recover, resulting in hearing loss If exposure is short, the hair cells raise back up As you get older you suffer some natural hearing loss

11 EFFECTS OF NOISE EXPOSURE Often the first noticeable effect is difficulty in hearing speech. Our ears can recover from short exposure to loud noise. There’s no such thing as “tough ears” or “getting used to it”

12 HEARING PROTECTION THERE ARE 3 TYPES- EAR MUFFS, EARPLUGS & EAR CAPS. EAR MUFFS & EAR PLUGS PROVIDE ABOUT EQUAL PROTECTION, EAR CAPS SOMEWHAT LESS.

13 HEARING PROTECTION All are designed to reduce the intensity (loudness) of noise. All 3 types have advantages & disadvantages & people vary on which they prefer to use. Wads of cotton or cloth are not acceptable as hearing protectors.

14 HEARING PROTECTION Plugs are made of foam, rubber or plastic & are either one-size-fits-all or in sizes small, medium & large. Some are disposable, some are reusable. They’re lightweight & require no maintenance & rarely cause infection or irritation Custom-molded earplugs provide maximum comfort. Some people find plugs uncomfortable to wear for long periods at first.

15 HEARING PROTECTION HEARING AIDS ARE NOT HEARING PROTECTION Hearing aids do not block out enough sound for most workplace noise Some hearing aids can increase the noise level at the ear. Just turning off the hearing aids will not prevent further hearing loss from noise exposure.

16 HEARING PROTECTION Muffs can be uncomfortable in hot weather. Muffs don’t seal well for someone w/glasses or heavy sideburns. Position of the head band will also affect how well the muff is sealed. The highest protection is on top of the head. Some earmuffs are made w/bands that can fit behind the neck or under the chin.

17 HEARING PROTECTION It takes just a few minutes of unprotected exposure at noise above 115 decibels to risk hearing damage. Earplugs not well inserted into the canal will not provide complete protection. Likewise, earmuffs not snug & covering the ear completely will “leak” noise into the ear.

18 HEARING PROTECTION The “noise reduction rating” or “NRR” of hearing protection is measured in decibels. The NRR is found on the earmuff/earplug package. The higher the number, the greater the protection. The actual effective protection is 7 decibels less than rating on package.

19 NOISE PROTECTION PORTABLE RADIOS/CD PLAYERS “Walkmans” do not provide protection from noise. The earphones are not earmuffs & the music only adds to other background noise. “Walkmans” can exceed 85 decibels by themselves.

20 THE 6 MOST COMMON BAD ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT HEARING PROTECTION….. 1. Hearing protection is self-explanatory Little to no training is provided on most sites. The most effective training is one on one training. 2. “Just put it in” in regards to earplugs. It’s a simple 3 step process: roll, pull, hold. 3. Any earplug in the ear is blocking some noise. An earplug just sitting in the bowl of the ear, without sealing the ear canal, is simply nice ear décor. Poorly fit earplugs actually increase the noise level by a few decibels (similar to cupping your hand around your ear to hear better).

21 THE 6 MOST COMMON BAD ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT HEARING PROTECTION….. 4. An earplug halfway in the ear blocks half the noise. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. A half fit earplug is often providing 0 dB’s of attenuation. 5. To hear critical sounds, remove earplugs halfway. Any small channel or leak allows noise to enter & the protection quickly deteriorates from “all” to “none”. How do you protect the worker who may not need 30dBs of protection? Use hearing protectors w/lower NRRs. When used properly, lower dBs earplugs will provide protection w/out sacrificing communication ability.

22 THE 6 MOST COMMON BAD ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT HEARING PROTECTION….. 6. There is no way to let good sound in and keep bad sound out. There are hearing protectors on the market that are more speech-friendly than others.

23 2 TIPS IN CLOSING…… 1. A VISUAL CUE TO PROPERLY FIT AN EARPLUG: When viewing yourself in the mirror straight ahead (or when looking at a co-worker face-to-face) a poorly fit earplug is clearly visible protruding from the ear canal, while a properly fit earplug is hardly visible.

24 2 TIPS IN CLOSING…… 2. EASILY PERFORMED SELF- TEST: Prior to inserting your earplugs, press the palms of your hands lightly against your ears, and say some words out loud. Your own voice sounds louder & deeper when your ears are covered. Now insert your earplugs, & repeat that voice check. If the earplugs are properly fit, there will be very little difference in the sound of your voice.

25 EXERCISE TO DO TODAY…. SET YOUR CAR RADIO TO A COMFORTABLE LEVEL (OR YOUR NORMAL LEVEL) WHEN YOUR DRIVING HOME TONIGHT….. SEE IF YOU STILL CONSIDER THAT COMFORTABLE WHEN YOU GET IN THE CAR IN THE MORNING….


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