Jobsites are noisy places and, since hearing loss occurs slowly, workers may not notice until it is too late. Prolonged exposure to loud noises not only results in irreparable hearing loss, it can also cause high blood pressure, anxiety, heart disease and sleep issues.
Construction site managers can help to mitigate hearing loss by mandating hearing protection at all times on the jobsite.
OSHA says noise levels on jobsites should not exceed 85 decibels. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has released a free app which can help you determine noise levels on your jobsite.
Other mitigation measures include:
- Put stickers on noisy machinery to warn workers to use ear protection when operating that equipment.
- Invest in quieter tools to reduce noise pollution.
- Keep existing equipment in good working order.
- Move workers around so they aren’t always using noisy machinery.
- Plan for fewer workers on jobsites on days when noisy equipment will be in use.
- Create noise barriers around loud equipment to protect nearby workers.