How Can Farmers Protect Themselves From Dangerous Noise On Farms?
Studies suggest that continuous exposure to loud noises on farms can result in noise-induced hearing loss to farmers of all ages, including teenagers. Farmers are particularly vulnerable to loss of hearing as high noise levels from squealing pigs, tractors, ventilation systems, blowers and other machinery, characterize life on the farms.
According to a US study, 5000 farmers were questioned about their hearing over a period of 10 years. The study found that 92% of the farmers were exposed to extreme noise levels while involved in farming activities. As a result, seventy eight percentsuffered from hearing problems, yet only four percent used hearing aids. Similar results were found in earlier Swedish studies. This study also confirmed the importance of wearing hearing protection. Fifty individuals, who consistently used hearing protection, were paired with a group of non-users, and the results showed that significantly less hearing loss occurred among farmers who had worn protectors.
Hearing damage depends a lot on the length of exposure to a particular loud noise. Farmers perform many tasks throughout the day, and with time, it can have bad impact on their hearing. For example, exposure to a chainsaw for a longer period of time can be dangerous. You can be exposed to a chainsaw for two minutes before it becomes hazardous, but who uses a chainsaw for just two minutes.
How Farmers Can Protect Themselves From Loud Noise?
- Reducing Noise Levels
- Working Under Enclosed Areas
- Performing Equipment Maintenance
- Wear Hearing Protection
- Limit Daily Exposure Duration
1. Reducing Noise Levels
When youâ€™re selecting or buying new equipment, ask about the sound levels and choose quietest option. Donâ€™t forget to compare decibel ratings for the equipment.
2. Working Under Enclosed Areas
Working on motorized equipment under cabs or enclosures will reduce noise exposure. Purchase Tractor and Skid-Steers with sound-reducing cabs and tightly fitted cab doors and windows to reduce the noise entering the operator.
3. Performing Equipment Maintenance
Regularly lubricate and replace parts like bearings, mufflers, silencers, etc. to reduce friction and lower noise levels. Make sure that the new machinery you purchase is quieter than old machinery.
4. Wear Hearing Protection
Use hearing protection when working in noisy settings. Use earmuffsas it offers the best protection and is easy to use. Expandable earplugs are the next best option but these require proper insertion.
5. Limit Day Exposure Duration
Reducing the amount of time you are exposed to noise can limit its harmful effects. Schedule some of your days with quieter activities that can help avoid loud noises.
Farming and agricultural equipment often generate high sound levels which can damage a personâ€™s hearing. By considering all the above measures can definitely lower the risk.
We wish you all a good time at farming and happy hearing!