This month’s Safety Focused newsletter includes information on protecting yourself from noise hazards and staying safe while working in the rain.
Repeated exposure to noise hazards in the workplace can lead to a number of health issues, including temporary, or even permanent, hearing loss. These hazards can be an issue in a wide variety of work environments, whether a construction site, office setting, an airstrip, a concert venue or a crowded bar.Noise Hazards in the Workplace
Noise hazards can interfere with crucial communication of warning signals, so it is important to identify them in order to know when precautions must be taken. Some indications that noise hazards may be present include:
- Signage—Some areas may have posted notices regarding noise hazards.
- Difficulty communicating—If you have to raise your voice or have trouble hearing another person at a close distance, it is likely that noise hazards are present.
- Ringing—If you notice ringing in your ears after work, it is likely that you have suffered temporary hearing damage from noise hazards.
- Health issues—Noise hazards can cause a number of other issues, such as decreased coordination and concentration, sleeping issues, fatigue and increased stress.
There are a number of ways to help keep you safe from noise hazards at work, such as:
- Always follow posted signs or instructions from your employer regarding noise hazards.
- Perform proper maintenance on machines to limit the noise they generate.
- Have your hearing tested regularly, and take any issues or negative trends seriously.
- Use personal protective equipment (PPE), such as earplugs and earmuffs, properly.
Hearing loss is a life-changing problem that can be caused by consistent exposure to noise hazards, or even just one severe blast.
If you believe that you may be suffering from health issues related to noise hazards, or if you have any other questions, speak with your supervisor and seek medical attention if necessary.
Working Safely in the Rain
The workplace is already filled with a wide variety of potential hazards. But, when Mother Nature takes an already dangerous situation and sprinkles it with less-than-ideal working conditions, it means that you and your co-workers need to not only be aware of new hazards, but also be aware that the preexisting ones just became even more dangerous.
When inclement weather comes around to make life a little more difficult, be sure to take the following steps in order to minimize risks.
Take Your Time
Working in inclement weather may make it tempting to work more quickly, but rain makes surfaces and equipment slicker, meaning that slips and falls are more likely to occur.
Wear Proper Gear
Make sure that you are using proper rain gear, including nonslip-grip gloves, shoes with deep treads and raincoats. Garments should be high-visibility and properly ventilated so that you can wear them comfortably for extended periods of time.
Check Your Vision
Rain can create issues with visibility, so if you are wearing glasses or goggles, use anti-fog spray or wipes on them before entering the elements. Hats and hoods can help deflect rain, but they also limit your field of vision, so be sure to turn your head more and take extra care in observing your surroundings.
Use the Right Equipment
Some power tools and equipment are not specifically rated for use in the rain. Only use tools and equipment that meet this qualification and that also have textured, nonslip-grip handles. In addition, when working at night, ensure that your lighting equipment is rated for outdoor use.
With spring on its way, employees should be prepared for less-than-ideal conditions. Working in the rain brings about many new complications, and taking the proper precautions can be the difference between a serious accident or injury, and a job that’s done safely and successfully.
If you have any questions about working in the rain safely, talk to your supervisor.
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