Hearing Protection Safety Tips for Construction Workers
Exposure to loud noises, no matter how frequently, can lead to irreversible hearing damage and hearing loss. If that wasn’t scary enough, loud noises contribute to workplace accidents and further health issues. With so many sources of loud noises on construction sites, it’s easy to see why hearing protection is an essential form of personal protective equipment and why safety measures have to be put into place to prevent hearing harm. If you work with or near tools or jobs that create loud noises, the hearing protection safety tips we will dive into below are for you!
Tips to Prevent Hearing LossThere are plenty of ways to manage construction noise, and you don’t have to wait until the work is already underway to implement them. In fact, you should work to implement OSHA hearing protection standards before the job begins.
Start Planning for Before Work StartsYou can ensure all construction workers are properly protected from loud noises before the work even starts on the site. It’s best to plan your noise control measures in the following stages:
- At the Design Stage: Layout the construction site to isolate the jobs and machinery that will make the most noise.
- Organizational Stage: Ensure that hearing protection is accounted for by management and that protection plans are put into place for when work starts.
- Contractual Stage: Double check that all contractors are compliant with hearing protection measures and understand OSHA’s hearing protection standards.
- Building Phase: Use this time to assess any hearing risks, and eliminate or control them, then review the assessment and make the necessary changes.
Keep Vigilant While Work HappensAlthough you’ve planned the site out to eliminate loud noises, there are additional hearing safety measures you can take once work starts on the construction site. The best ways to manage noise on a construction site are to assess, eliminate, control, and review the noise sources. Of course, once you’ve assessed the noise source, you should attempt to remove it from the workplace. If the noise is coming from an essential piece of equipment, you need to try to control the noise, and then review your efforts to see if they were effective. Try implementing one or more of these noise reduction and control methods on your worksite:
- Use equipment with lower noise emissions
- Avoid metal on metal impacts
- Use damping or fitting silencers to reduce vibrating parts
- Maintain a regular maintenance schedule
- Isolate the noisy equipment and machinery using noise barriers, slab measures, absorbent materials
- Create work schedules that avoid the majority of the noise