Hearing loss is one of the reported conditions carpenters face when working in the field. They work outdoors and indoors and are exposed to a noisy environment.
Carpenters especially those who are working in construction sites are exposed to a variety of loud noise-producing equipment and power tools such as jackhammers, hammers drills, electric saws, rotary hammers and other tools that are beyond the limit of 85 dBA level.
It is indeed true that you can suffer a hearing loss when working as a carpenter. It is one of the problems one may suffer from working in this trade.
If you’re experiencing ringing in your ears at the end of the day’s shift, when you have to shout to fellow carpenters when they’re just 3 feet away from you, or when you’re suffering from temporary hearing loss that you suspect you’ve gotten from work, then it is a telltale sign that the noise is becoming a big problem.
Avoid surroundings with a high-level of noise at all times, it can cause other adverse side effects. Immediately report that to the employer for immediate corrective action.
Do You Experience Hearing Loss? How to Tell You Have It?
Aside from the telltale signs mentioned above, there are other symptoms that you are suffering from hearing loss, carpenters just ignore them thinking that it might go away in just a day or two. Here are they:
- The main indication is the hearing loss itself. If you just shrug off the simple symptoms such as minor ringing or humming in your ears every end of work shift for long period, the tendency is that it could worsen to permanent damage. Unfortunately, by the time you take action, it might be too late.
- If you couldn’t hear your co-worker at just an arm’s length distance and you have to should out loud to be heard, then it is a sure indication that you are suffering from it. You need to set an appointment with a specialist to give you guidance.
- If you can’t understand speech and notice other sounds muffled then surely, you are experiencing hearing loss. It is important to have early intervention so that it won’t progress to more damage.
- Have you experience difficulty understanding conversation when you’re in a meeting? It is just an early sign. For now, you just have to lessen your exposure to noisy workplace and observe if such situation recurs.
- Other signs are fullness in one or both ear, dizziness, nausea, or even earache.
If you suspect that you are experiencing hearing loss, early intervention and be seen by a doctor or specialist are important steps to take. You don’t want to develop it to permanent damage.
How Carpenters Reduce Health Hazards from Noisy Workplace
Noisy situation is a big culprit for carpenters not only makes them uncomfortable and it also causes damage to hearing and even trigger tinnitus - and we don’t want to suffer from that. Here are some of the tips you could do lessen the hazard from noise and prevent hearing loss:
- Noise dissipates much slower in the indoor environment making it more harmful in the ear. Ask the employer to assign a safety officer in the area to monitor the noise level. They may even put a work schedule so that workers don’t simultaneously work lowering the noise in that particular area.
- Carpenter should ALWAYS wear hearing protection. You could use flanged earplugs, foam earplugs, or banded earplugs – you just have to try one that works for you. The employer will provide you with that if you don’t have them in your pocket. The safety officer should train you to wear those protections and work safely in such situation.
- Ask the employer to reduce your exposure to such a noisy workplace – they will surely oblige with that request. They will assess the place and see what could be done to reduce the noise – they may put protective shields in place, remove the equipment causing the loud noise or move you away from that equipment. The employer could even conduct a Risk Analysis prior to sending you to noisy environment.
- Conduct safety toolbox talk regularly addressing the hazards of working in a high-noise environment. Toolbox talk meeting is given every morning prior to work commencement. It is an effective means of delivering your thought to the workers.
- Warning signs and posters are effective ways of cautioning workers. Post signs and posters in different places so that workers are reminded to wear ear protection.
With those tips above, you could reduce the risk hearing loss when working in a noisy environment and on daily basis.
It is the Employer’s Responsibility to Give You Safe Workplace
Employers are required to provide the carpenters with the necessary training and personal protective equipment (PPE) that will aid them to work safely.
The role of the carpenters to maintain a safe work environment is to report to the employer the noise hazard they observe on the job. The employer cannot give corrective action if they don’t know about the issue.
Please do remember that addressing a safety concern such as a noisy workplace is a team effort, it should be reported by the workers and should be corrected by the employer.
Safety is everyone’s priority. We always to go home in our family safe and well.
To Make a Conclusion
Noise in the job where carpenters are exposed to every day could take a toll and damage hearing. It has been observed that workers don’t wear ear protection as often as they should when working in a noisy workplace.
Hearing loss is permanent damage, it cannot be corrected. You don’t want to be included in the statistics, always wear your ear protection.
Your ears can be damaged by the noise of the tools you use. You should be aware of the limit your ear can take. It should not beyond 85 dBA. Because at the end of the day, we want to accomplish the job and be free from any physical ailments.