Opinion: Prevent Noise Induced Hearing Loss among Staff

Hearing loss can be prevented by educating employees who can be potentially exposed to noise about the adverse effects of high noise levels.

Opinion: Prevent Noise Induced Hearing Loss among Staff

There are various causes of Hearing loss and they include noise, ageing, some diseases, and heredity.

Heredity and ageing are not preventable but noise induced hearing loss can be prevented. Areas which people are exposed to high noise levels can be at home, in public transport, in entertainment places, and in workplaces. At work places the high levels of noise are generated by machinery and other equipment and processes.

The law requires an employer to ensure that employees are not exposed to levels of noise that can cause hearing loss during employment or after leaving employment during their time of employment.

Workers are at a risk of developing noise induced hearing loss when exposed to long hours of high noise levels. In some cases, unfortunately noise induced hearing loss is diagnosed long after an employee has left employment. Hearing loss is mostly irreversible once one is affected.

Risk assessment should be carried out by an employer who suspects that the working environment generates high levels to determine the level of noise in the workplace.

Mapping out noise levels will reveal the level of risk and identify which employees are most exposed. It involves measuring the noise levels at peak production times at locations where employees operate from.

Using the findings, the employer can now compare them with the recommended safe noise levels.

According to the Noise Prevention and Control Rules under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007, no worker shall be exposed to noise levels in excess of continuous equivalent of 90 dB (A) in 8 hours within a 24-hour period.

Hearing loss can be prevented by educating employees who can be potentially exposed to noise about the adverse effects of high noise levels.

Engineering noise control measures such as use of noise proof enclosed cabins and using noise absorbing covers are some of the proactive initiatives 

Source: Business Daily 

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