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White Card Update: Hearing Awareness Week SafeWork SA has launched Hearing Awareness Week to highlight the need for hearing protection. According to SafeWork attempting to create safer, low noise work environments should be the ultimate goal as well as each worker protecting their own hearing in the process. Most readers would be surprised to note that hearing loss induced by noise on the job site is a major cause of occupational injury. SafeWork warns that this hearing loss make occur gradually over time and is often permanent. SafeWork has also stressed the need for workers to comply with safety regulations as well employer’s duty to implement policy for noise management. Workers should not keep silent if they feel their hearing is being put at risk. Workers should speak up and request a noise assessment be carried out if they feel their hearing is being jeopardised. This post on SafetyCulture.com.au has more: As Hearing Awareness Week is being celebrated this week, SafeWork SA reminds workers and employers of the importance of securing hearing protection by creating safer, low-noise working environments and to protect their own hearing. “Noise –induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupational injuries, and we want to empower South Australians to know how to take care of their hearing and health, particularly in noisy workplaces,” said Juanita Lovatt, A/Executive Director of SafeWork SA. .“This hearing loss occurs gradually and the loss can be permanent but there are ways to be aware of the risks and to limit exposure to excessive noise.” “Workers are also obligated to comply with any policies and procedures put in place by the employer to reduce noise exposure,” said Ms Lovatt. The National Code of Practice for Noise Management and Protection of Hearing at Work offers guidance for businesses to manage noise in their workplaces and to establish a noise management strategy. “SafeWork SA urges employees who are concerned about noise in the workplace to speak to their safety representative or employer about having a noise assessment conducted,” said Ms Lovatt. Further information on managing noise in the workplace can be found on the SafeWork SA website. Source: http://www.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/08/safework-sa-reminds-workers-to-safeguardtheir-hearing-and-health/

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The problem is that construction sites can be very noisy. There are many pieces of equipment and machinery as well as work processes that generate a lot of noise on construction sites. The main sources ofnoise include pneumatic tools (such as concrete breakers),impulsive tools (like demolition hammers, cartridge tools) and internal combustion engines (like compressors andgenerators). Construction workers may also be exposed to high levels ofbackground noise from other work on site that they may not be directly involved in. Construction workers can recognise the symptoms of hearing damage by paying attention to sounds appearingmuffled, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and with prolongedexposure, total deafness can occur. Noise can also interferewith communication and make warnings harder to hear which have their own hazards. Possible measures that can reduce harm caused by noise include: Implementing a purchasing policy. Check the noise data of each tool and piece of machinery purchased. New tools were obtained based on the lowness of their noise level. Health and SafetyExecutivedevelopments, including low-noise designs and moreeffective ways to use tools. Tool maintenance. Workers can carry out ‘toolbox check’ each week. Check pneumatic silencers, anti-vibration mounts, toolsharpness, lubrication, and the condition of hearingprotection. Wellmaintainedtools operate more efficientlyand therefore produce less noise. Training: Train workers on tools and equipment and how to minimise noise. Personal protective equipment (PPE): Employers should provide hearing protection free of charge. The benefits of implementing some of the tips above are two fold. Not only are workers hearing protected by tools and machinery that are maintained last longer and perform more efficiently. Many employers are put off from developing new strategy due to the initial cost however, implementing new policies for training, purchasing and PPE have long-term benefits, including thepotential for repeat business, preferred subcontractorstatus, no claims against the company, and a morestable workforce. addthis_url = 'http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whitecardaustralia.com.au%2Fblog%2Fwhite-card-updatehearing-awareness-week%2F'; addthis_title = 'White+Card+Update%3A+Hearing+Awareness+Week'; addthis_pub = '';

http://www.whitecardaustralia.com.au/blog/white-card-update-hearing-awareness-week/

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White Card Update: Hearing Awareness Week