Tag Archive: construction noise

OSHA fines company for willful failure to provide hearing protection

Willard company fined for factory noise.  The headline seems innocuous enough but the story below is absolutely appalling.

According to The Blade, employees of a yard equipment manufacturer located in Willard, Ohio were exposed to noise that “was in excess of 90 decibels,” leading to permanent hearing loss.  The Blade adds that the failure to provide hearing protection “was deemed ‘willful’ by OSHA, which means the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.”  As a result of this employer’s malfeasance, employees have suffered permanent hearing loss while the employer walks away with a $77,000 fine.

One hopes that the insultingly low OSHA fine is just the beginning of the financial cost that will be borne by this monstrous employer, as the injured employees will suffer with this loss for the rest of their lives.  Whatever one thinks about trial attorneys, a punishing damages award is often the only way to keep others from following this company’s abhorrent behavior.

 

Wonderful if true:

The Future Will Be Quiet.  Click through to read Alana Semuels’ piece on “how the cities and suburbs of the future could become quieter, more peaceful places.”  Ms. Semuels’ cause for optimism rests, in large part, on advances in technology.  While technological advances are welcome, and could, one hopes, be part of the solution, the media should focus more attention on hearing health and the dangers of noise so that Americans are moved to protect themselves instead of waiting for a technological panacea.

Thanks to Daniel Fink, M.D., a noise pollution activist in the Los Angeles area, for the link.  Dr. Fink serves on the board of the American Tinnitus Association.

 

 

Why are construction crews allowed to use their noisiest equipment at 8:00 a.m.?

I’m in my apartment, trying to embrace the day.  In the background I can clearly hear the sound of a jackhammers and something that sounds like the biggest saw known to man.  My guess is that the saw is being used to cut into the sidewalk, while the jackhammers are digging up the street.  At 8:00 a.m.  Hardly a peaceful start to the day.  And then it stops, but not before the world has been jolted to a start with a slap across its face.  Good morning!

Oh wait, it’s starting again.  Off to shower and plan a day away from my home office.

Hope you are enjoying a more pleasant morning.

Maybe this will get peoples’ attention:

AC/DC’s Brian Johnson quits touring for good because of hearing loss.

Yes, nothing like the threat of complete hearing loss to bring home the importance of protecting one’s ears.  Let’s hope that AC/DC considers the damage inflicted on concert goers when they resume touring.

Turn It Down: How to protect yourself against noise pollution

In “Turn It Down,” Dangerstoppers (Beverly Hills Television) highlights the dangers of noise exposure and its adverse effect on hearing.  The video is very good at informing viewers about dangerous levels of sound and provides tips on how one can limit his or her exposure to noise pollution.  Included in this important piece is Dr. Daniel Fink’s segment on ear plug options for hearing protection.

Thanks to Daniel Fink, M.D., a noise pollution activist in the Los Angeles area, for the video link.  Dr. Fink serves on the board of the American Tinnitus Association.

Noise can cause hyperacusis and tinnitus, but can it also be bad for your heart?

New York Times Health blogger, Nicholas Bakalar, posted a piece on a report by British researchers that suggested that “[c]ontinual exposure to traffic noise may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.”   The study, published in The European Heart Journal, noted that, as compared with average noise levels below 55 decibels, “levels above 60 decibels were associated with higher rates of hospital admissions for stroke — 5 percent higher among people 25 to 74 and about 9 percent higher among those over 75.  All-cause mortality was 4 percent higher for people in noisy neighborhoods.”

As Bakalar notes, 60 decibels is not especially loud as it “is much quieter than most urban environments and many indoor public places like popular restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and sports arenas.”  The  researchers suggest that the cumulative effect of constant noise over years could be significant.

If you have a sound meter on your smart phone, load it up when you are at a restaurant, theater, or gym and look at the decibel level.  My guess is that if most people did this just to get a sense of the normal sound levels they are continually exposed to, they would be stunned.

Research into the affect of noise on health is at the nascent stage, so more attention and funding has to be directed to this emerging and important field of study.  One hopes that once there is some consensus regarding the ill effects of noise on health, that businesses and political bodies will have no choice but to address it.  After all, cities and suburbs are not getting any quieter.

Thanks to Daniel Fink, M.D., a noise pollution activist in the Los Angeles area, for the link.  Dr. Fink serves on the board of the American Tinnitus Association.

An auspicious start?

Or is that an ironic start?  I posted my first blog entry last evening and shortly after rising this a.m. this is what I saw and heard on the street below my apartment [Note: check your sound levels before pressing play] :

20150630_091310

Nice.  Looks like they will be here all day.  So I’ll be off to find a nice quiet cafe/temporary office for the afternoon.