Iron workers face various kinds of risks every day when they’re on the job, be it at a work site or in the warehouse there are always things to be mindful of when you are working as a Metal Fabricator or Iron Welder. The focus of this blog will be about hearing damage that can occur on the job and how to take preventative measures..
How does it occur?
Hearing loss occurs when the hearing processes in the ears are overstimulated by loud and damaging sounds. Part of the body's system for receiving and processing sound includes the cochlear hair cells (pictured below). These hair cells are moved and stimulated by sound, however when exposed to damaging levels of sound these hairs are paralyzed, over time and with repeated exposure, these hair cells will begin to deteriorate resulting in permanent hearing loss.
What kind of auditory hazards do iron workers face?
Clanging Iron, Hammers, Drills, Metal Cutting and Loud Air Pressure Tanks are just a few of the harsh sounds that iron workers face on the job. Simple tools like drills and hammers can be easily overlooked when protecting yourself from hearing damage on the job. Loud Motors and Engines being the most hazardous of the bunch are to be taken the most seriously.
A lot of times the thing workers must keep in mind when working is not so much the exact decibels of sound that a task or tool is creating but their proximity to that sound, many sounds that are completely safe 5 feet away can cause harm when you are working a few inches away from it.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Luckily for us, hearing damage in the workplace is an all too common complaint, so that means there are a lot of tools at our disposal to protect ourselves.
Safety Ear Muffs are the most common and effective tool against hazardous sounds in the workplace. These earmuffs will completely cancel out any sounds that may come your way no matter how loud they may be. But, what if you need to be able to hear things for your own safety? It would not be responsible to protect your hearing only to neglect all the other harm that could come your way if you can't hear anything behind you. In those cases it's best to use a smaller but still effective set of ear plugs that will muffle the sounds around you whilst still letting you hear those forklifts and Iron metal pieces moving around you.
Hearing damage is a serious matter when you are at work, it is taken very lightly by many people because it is a gradual thing that is hard to notice until it's too late, hopefully this blog helps you defend yourself against the invisible threat that is hearing damage. Be it earmuffs or simply by distancing yourself from the sounds, hearing is one of the most important senses to experiencing this beautiful world around us. Thank you for reading and have a great week!