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Hearing conservation

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  • 1. Hearing Conservation Saving your hearing for the good things in life.
  • 2. The Basics  Excessive sound can damage your hearing, leading to tinnitus and hearing loss  Hearing loss is often permanent  Hearing loss is one of the most common occupational injuries in Manitoba.
  • 3. Inside the Ear
  • 4. Tinnitus  Is a ringing, buzzing, or roaring sound in the ear  Can be temporary or permanent  Usually accompanies hearing loss
  • 5. Types of Hearing Loss  There are three main types of hearing loss:  Presbycusis  Temporary Hearing Loss  Permanent Hearing Loss
  • 6. Presbycusis  Presbycusis is a type of hearing loss that occurs naturally as people age  As people age, hair cells in the cochlea slowly die off, resulting in permanent hearing loss
  • 7. Temporary Hearing Loss  Occurs when a person loses some or all of their ability to hear for a short time  Usually occurs when a person is exposed to loud noise for a short period of time, such as a rock concert  Is usually accompanied by tinnitus
  • 8. Permanent Hearing Loss  Occurs when a person is exposed to loud noise over a longer period of time  Hearing never returns  Usually accompanied by tinnitus
  • 9. Other things that cause hearing loss  Head injuries  Infections  Drugs, including some prescription drugs
  • 10. How Much Noise is Too Much?  The American Environmental Protection Agency recommends that people not be exposed to more than 75dBa of noise for more than 8 hours per day  Manitoba WSH Act says you should not be exposed to more than 90dBa for more than 8 hours per day
  • 11. Rule of Thumb  A general rule of thumb is that if you can’t carry on a normal conversation with someone who’s about 3’ or 1m from you, you need to be wearing hearing protection
  • 12. Other Effects of Too Much Noise  High Blood Pressure  Stress Headaches  Sleep Disorders  Anger – Flight or Fight Response
  • 13. Noise in Construction  Most power tools produce over 90dBa of noise when being used  Powder-actuated tools can produce over 140dBa
  • 14. How Long Can I Be Exposed?  Manitoba considers it safe for workers to be exposed to 90dBa for 8 hours  Every 3dBa increase in noise means twice the amount of sound and half the safe exposure time  So, at 93dBa, the maximum “safe” exposure time is 4 hours, and at 96dBa, it’s 2 hours
  • 15. Types of Hearing Protection  Two basic types of hearing protection are available for workers at BUILD:  Ear plugs  Ear muffs
  • 16. Ear Plugs  Are the most common form of hearing protector in the construction industry  Provide the best noise reduction rating  Are sometimes uncomfortable  Are sometimes annoying if you have to put them in and take them out a lot
  • 17. How to Fit Ear Plugs
  • 18. Ear Muffs  Provide very good hearing protection, but not quite as good as ear plugs  Can be worn by themselves or attached to your hard hat  Are more convenient if you only use them occasionally
  • 19. Ear Muffs
  • 20. Noise Reduction Rating  All hearing protectors are labelled with a Noise Reduction Rating, or NRR  The NRR is the amount of sound the hearing protector blocks  For example, 112dBa (noise) – 32dBa (NRR) = 80dBa (what you hear)
  • 21. NRR Label
  • 22. Audiometric Testing  All construction workers in Manitoba have to have their hearing tested  Within 70 days of being hired, and  Once a year afterwards
  • 23. Workers Compensation  Yes, you can receive Workers’ Compensation benefits for hearing loss  Benefits are usually capped at the cost of 1 or 2 hearing aids
  • 24. So?  You get to choose whether you wear hearing protectors now, or hearing aids later in life.  Choose wisely

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