In this video, Jim explains that prolonged exposure to excessive noise can cause permanent damage to your hearing. He describes the steps to measure noise levels and the precautions to take.
- Noise is an issue that I think gets overlooked far too often in construction. It's easy to overlook. It's one of those hazards that's not likely to cause an immediate injury or even to have immediate consequences. It's one of those things that builds up over time as loud noises take their toll on your hearing and all of a sudden one day you realize you're having trouble hearing people or picking out details in conversations. Or like me, you end up with a permanent ringing in your ears. The real trouble with all this is that once the damage is done.
The doctors really don't have a way to fix it. Back when I was a teenager and running a jackhammer out on the construction site for the summer. No one told me I needed to wear hearing protection. And really to be fair, I'm not sure I would have worn it if they did. Back then, hearing protection consisted of those big, bulky earmuff type things. And it was 110 degrees out most days where I worked, and they really didn't looked cool anyway. At the time, I certainly did not understand the consequences of not wearing hearing protection, which at this point in my life is a constant and very loud ringing in both ears, that by all current medical opinions is permanent.
Trust me, you don't want this. Protect your hearing. Fortunately this is one of those areas where technology has helped. Effective hearing protection these days can be simple, cheap and use very small ear plugs. These days, you can even get very small in-ear plugs that allow you to hear normal sounds at safe levels like people talking, but then they block out any loud, harmful sounds. Depending on the work being done, you or the company may have to do a little research to determine noise exposure levels, and then match that with the appropriate level of hearing protection.
But this is really not that hard for someone experienced in this to do. On construction sites though, we're often exposed to loud noises, again not from the work that we're doing, but from the work someone else is doing next to us. There's a lot of ways you can handle this. These days you can actually a get smart phone app to measure noise levels on your own if you want to go that far. But really the rule of thumb is that if you can't hear someone next to you talking at a normal volume, you probably need hearing protection. So again, take advantage of these cheap and effective earplugs.
Keep them with you. Know how to put them in correctly and put them in when it's loud on the site. Believe me, when you get older you will be really glad you did.
Throughout this course, Jim highlights some of the most notable safety and health hazards in the industry—including fall hazards, traffic accidents, and respiratory hazards—and shares strategies for integrating safety, quality, and productivity. He also explains how to leverage technological advancements such as digital drawings to help your team work safer and smarter.
- Recognizing health hazards in the industry
- Integrating safety, quality, and productivity
- Creating a culture of learning
- Recognizing leading indicators
- Using digital solutions to improve safety
- Using BIM to identify hazards early