October is National Hearing Protection Month
Do you think about your hearing in a given day? Probably not. Every day many of us forget to protect our hearing, even those of us who work in noisy environments.
While easy to forget about, our ability to hear is one of the most important and precious senses we have and can play a crucial role in our communication and relationships. It’s estimated that one in six adults over 18 has some trouble hearing and each year the prevalence of that hearing loss grows.
In honor of National Protect Your Hearing Month, we’re breaking down three basic steps you should take to protect you and your employee’s hearing in an industrial work setting. Plus we’ll touch on some of our favorite suppliers and products.
An industrial environment or even just using tools at home, noise is all around us, and many of these noises are causing us hearing loss. A lawnmower, handheld drill or jackhammer—they are all over 85 decibels. At 85 decibels this is when we start experiencing noise-induced hearing loss. This is what we want to prevent!
Working in an industrial environment can often have even louder noises that are also occurring more frequently. This is a recipe for hearing loss. This repeat exposure to high noise levels is what can cause lifelong hearing damage and restrict the communication between those we love most.
So how do we protect ourselves?
Follow these three steps below and protect yourself and others from hearing loss.
Measuring and evaluating the noise in your environment is a crucial first step in understanding how to protect yourself and your employees. By taking noise samples and measuring the noise levels you can then ensure you’re able to provide the right level of hearing protection. Using electronic decibel meter signs, like those from Accuform, or 3M’s Sound Examiner and Dosimeters can be a great way to consistently evaluate and notify workers that noise levels have reached an unsafe level and to use hearing protection.
Eliminate what you can
Controlling noise is often considered one of the most effective ways to reduce noise hazards. Often times scheduling processes at specific times, moving equipment further back in a warehouse can all help to reduce and or eliminate the noise hazards. Sometimes eliminating the noise all together is not possible and you need to ensure that you and your staff are adequately protected.
Protect the rest
When eliminating noise hazards isn’t possible, the best option is to protect yourself. While hearing protection might not always be the most fashionable statement, neither is not being able to carry a conversation due to hearing loss. Thankfully at IBT, we work with suppliers like Honeywell and 3M who are constantly bettering their state of the art hearing protection equipment. From disposable foam earplugs to full headsets with built-in audio and communication features, IBT can work with you to ensure all of your hearing protection and safety needs are covered.
When your hearing is gone, it is gone.
While October may be National Protect Your Hearing Month, we should really take time every day to be aware of the loud noises around us at home and at work. Hearing damage is often irreversible. Protect yourself now and you will protect your future and your ability to communicate with friends and family.
Need help understanding the next step?
Not sure what personal protective gear you need? Don’t sweat it. IBT has you covered! We offer full safety consultation, training and can supply a wide variety of the best hearing protection on the market.