By Winnie Maina | Saturday Aug 18, 2018
One of the most common preventable occupational health conditions in the world is Noise-induced hearing loss. Work places with excessive noise that can cause hearing loss need to provide workers with safety equipment to protect their ears.
The higher the level of noise and the longer individuals are exposed to it, increases the risk they have of suffering harm from it.
Worldwide millions of workers are exposed to noise levels that pose a risk to their hearing. Excessive noise is an occupational hazard with many adverse effects, not only to the workers involved with noisy operations but also to those around them.
The effects of excessive noise can lead to temporary or permanent hearing damage. This can affect the efficiency of the workers. This can worsen the conditions of individuals suffering from poor hearing whether it is due to their age or illness. When workers have poor hearing this can lead to accidents due to limited speech communication misunderstanding oral instructions and masking the sounds of approaching danger or warnings.
According to ILO both the employer and employees have parts to play to ensure they prevent Noise-Induced hearing loss which are
Duties of employers
- The employer should be responsible for action to reduce by all appropriate means the exposure of workers to noise * and vibration *.
- The employer should be responsible for the organizational arrangements required to prevent the risks due to noise and vibration in the undertaking.
- Employer should establish and publicize (preferably in writing) a general policy emphasizing the importance of prevention, and should take the decisions and the practical steps required to give effect to national regulations and to this code of practice.
Duties of the workers
- The workers should abide by instructions given and recommendations made to them concerning the prevention of noise and vibration.
- In particular, workers should
- Make use of noise and vibration control devices and techniques;
- Indicate whenever such devices are faulty or are in need of maintenance;
- Be willing to undergo the prescribed medical surveillance; and
- Use the personal protective equipment provided.
When the employer and worker play their parts then this ensures workers are safe from Noise induced hearing loss and hence making them more efficient in their work .