Setting a Good Safety Example

As a co-worker of new employees, consider yourself the most critical role model during their first few weeks. After all, your attitude and respect for safety policies and procedures could end up helping them avoid serious accidents and injuries in the workplace. It may take a while for new employees to adjust and feel like they fit in on the job. Those who have never held a job before or were previously employed by companies with weak safety programs will need considerable safety instruction and leadership. As such, their early impressions of the way you value safety will likely impact their future habits.

During this crucial transition time, your actions will speak louder than your words. If you are careless on the job, you will demonstrate to new employees that safety is not important. On the other hand, some employees may come from companies that prioritize safety. In that case, their personal respect for you will likely grown when they see that you care about workplace safety just as much as they do. Serious accidents and injuries can be an unfortunate reality in the workplace. Be sure that your new co-workers are aware of the danger, too. Doing so will keep everyone at the worksite safe.

Protecting Against Noise Hazards

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) asserts that more than 20 million U.S. employees are regularly exposed to dangerous noise levels at work. Many people don’t realize that their everyday activities are putting them at risk for irreversible, noise-induced hearing loss. That’s why it’s vital for employees like you to have a clear understanding of potential noise hazards in the workplace.

Is Your Hearing at Risk?

To properly protect yourself on the job, it’s important to be aware of the noise levels that can cause hearing loss and take steps to either avoid or reduce these exposures. Consider the following key points:

  • NIOSH states that workplace noise is likely to be hazardous if you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an arm’s length away, your ears are ringing or sounds seem dull after leaving a noisy place.
  • Safety experts recommend wearing ear protection when you are regularly exposed to at least 85 decibels of noise. To put that number in perspective, this is less than the noise output from average traffic, most power tools, a shotgun blast or a concert.

With these points in mind, be sure to consistently wear personal protective equipment if you are exposed to noise hazards while working. Such protection may vary based on specific noise exposures. Whether it’s earmuffs or simple plugs, there are a variety of options.

Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss usually happens gradually and often goes unnoticed. Here are some clues that may indicate you are experiencing hearing loss:

  • You strain to understand conversations
  • You think people are mumbling or not speaking clearly
  • You need to have things repeated frequently
  • You watch people’s faces intently when listening
  • You increase television or radio volumes to the point where others complain
  • You have ringing in your ears or feel dizzy

If you have any of these symptoms, ask your doctor for a hearing test. Consult your supervisor for more information on protecting against potential noise hazards in the workplace.