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Noise on the Job

Have you ever been in an extremely loud setting and asked someone who regularly works there, "How do you put up with this noise?" His shouted reply: "Ive gotten used to it!" People who are exposed to loud noise or extended periods o time do be!ome a!!ustomed to it be!ause o a gradual hearing loss resulting in a redu!ed sense o volume" #rowing "a!!ustomed" to noise is only one symptom o hearing loss" $thers are ringing ears a ter exposure to loud noise, or the impression that other people re%uently mumble as they speak" In addition to hearing loss, !onstant exposure to loud noise !an !ause high blood pressure, irritability, and other symptoms o stress" &here is a di eren!e between sound and noise" 'oise is de ined as sounds we pre er not to hear(an insistent horn honking or ro!k musi! blaring rom a teenagers stereo" 'oises dont have to be loud to be irritating" )or example, during a %uiet, sleepless night, the sound o a dripping au!et !an be as irritating as a diesel tru!k" *ut high+volume noise !an have a dangerous impa!t on the inner ears !apa!ity or hearing" ,xposure to loud noise over an extended period o time will eventually destroy a persons hearing" &his a!t is espe!ially important or those o us who work daily with loud noises" -ound is measured by de!ibels" . whisper is about /0 de!ibels, while voi!es in a normal !onversation range rom 10 to 20 de!ibels" . diesel tru!k and a power lawn mower both register at about 34 de!ibels, the level at whi!h noise !an damage hearing" .t 552 de!ibels, a pneumati! drill !an !ause pain to unprote!ted ears" &oday, millions o people are exposed to ha6ardous noise on and o the 7ob" In the workpla!e, ma!hinery o ten produ!es noise above 84 de!ibels" 9ou should wear hearing prote!tion in any area with a noise measurement that is higher than 84 de!ibels" -o t, !om ortable earplugs, whi!h are !ompressed be ore insertion into the ear !anal, e e!tively blo!k out noise by gently expanding and !on orming to the shape o the ear !anal" &he earplugs also prevent dirt and grease rom entering the ear, and they !an be worn with sa ety glasses, helmets, and respiratory prote!tion" $ther orms o prote!tion su!h as ear mu s also blo!k out noise e e!tively, but they !annot always be worn with other prote!tive e%uipment" .nnual hearing tests !an help determine whi!h workers are experien!ing hearing loss" *y !omparing test results over a period o years, serious hearing !onditions !an be diagnosed and treated" &his !ompany has a hearing !onservation program whi!h in!ludes periodi! auditory tests or hearing deterioration" .lso, the !ompany provides earplugs or mu s to all employees and visitors in high noise areas" 9ou are re%uired to use prote!tion when ne!essary to ensure that you do not su er rom hearing loss" )ortunately, a noisy environment !an be a sa e environment as well" .n appropriate

hearing !onservation program at home, in addition to the one we have at work, is the best insuran!e that optimum hearing will be maintained as long as possible"