May. 16, 2013

Many people think of the countryside as picturesque, peaceful, and quiet. This may be true at times, but life in the country is full of a variety of noises; some peaceful and some not so peaceful. Throughout the day, farmers are exposed to loud noises in their work environment. With high levels of noise and long duration of exposer comes the potential for hearing loss. That is, if proper protection is not taken. An important point to remember about hearing loss…. it is PREVENTABLE.
Sound or noise is measured in decibels. Normal speech is approximately 60 decibels (dB) and whispering 20 dB. Hearing loss occurs at exposure to noise above 85 dB. In addition to the noise level, the length of exposure is another aspect to take into consideration. Exposure to a chain saw producing 108 dB requires only 2 minutes to cause hearing damage.
When farmers face noisy situations, they should wear protective equipment to prevent hearing loss. Earplugs and muffs are the best line of defense. These lines of defense can reduce noise levels by 15 to 30 dB and can be combined for additional protection. When purchasing these types of personal protective equipment, look for a noise reduction rating (NNR) of 25 decibels or higher.
While you can never gain your hearing back, using the proper protection will keep it from getting worse!
For more information about hearing loss from the farm check out: