Hearing protection is sound management – and good business.

Ear defenders

This year’s International Noise Awareness Day (April 24) was a reminder that noise reduction and hearing protection are vital issues for the construction industry. Employers have a moral obligation to protect workers from injury, and that’s in addition to the potential cost of fines and legal judgments related to hearing impairment.

A recent article in Construction Briefing magazine noted that 14 percent of construction workers in the U.S. have difficulty hearing, 51 percent have been exposed to hazardous noise levels and 25 percent of those tested have material hearing impairment.

The solution is two-fold. First, workers must be supplied with hearing protection that is fit for purpose, and then they must wear it. Both present challenges that can be overcome with proper selection, training and enforcement on the job site. In the long term, however, choosing less noisy equipment and using it more efficiently may be the ultimate solution.

Read more