September is the International Hearing Awareness Month and is a reminder to everyone to protect their hearing.
All across the world events are taking place such as free hearing screenings and seminars to educate people about hearing protection.
In no other industry is the issue of hearing protection as important as it is in the construction sector and industries where tradespeople are involved. This is because the tools, equipment and work processes on a construction site are noisier than people would experience in other work environments such as an office for example.
The problem is further compounded by the fact that construction worker’s are exposed to numerous hazards and need to be able to hear fully in order to keep themselves safe on site and be aware of hazards. For example where the noise level is extremely high or a worker’s hearing is impaired, he/she may not be able to hear the reversing beepers of a construction truck and could be run over by the vehicle. There are many situations on a construction site where a worker’s inability to hear adequately can place them at risk of injury or death.
Hearing awareness month is also a time to focus on those people with hearing impairments. So in addition to prevention of hearing loss, we also need to address living with hearing disabilities.
Workers should go for hearing screenings to determine whether their hearing ability has deteriorated over time because of exposure to excessive noise.