It should come as no surprise that a construction site produces a lot of noise. While passers by might hear machines breaking up concrete or digging up dirt, can you imagine the impact of construction noise on the workers that spend their days on site?
When referring to the intensity of sound, we often use the term decibel (dBA). Exposure to sounds can become a concern when it is prolonged and the decibel levels reach above 85. Such exposure can result in permanent hearing loss or damage to ear drums. Studies have shown that construction workers are exposed to decibel levels over 85 70% of the time.
Even with the possible repercussions, construction workers may feel it unnecessary or uncomfortable to wear protective devices as often as they should. While they may not realize it at the time, such prolonged exposure will surely result in a loss of hearing over time.
How Can We Reduce The Risk of Hearing Loss Due To Construction Noise
So, why is it that workers are taking these risks? As mentioned, they may not realize at the time how loud the noise actually is. There could be a lack of proper training or this could be the result of a poor safety culture in their company.
There are a number of ways that construction workers and managers can protect their hearing and promote job site safety. Here are some possibilities:
- Invest in the use of noise cancelling equipment
- Make use of sound barriers or enclosures
- Wear hearing protection devices
- Undergo routine hearing tests
Prioritizing hearing protection on construction sites should be made a priority in all organizations. Please take the risks seriously and stay safe out there.