Old 8th Jul 2019, 10:35
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: The Fletcher Memorial Home
Age: 54
Posts: 302
Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
Is this the first case of PPE equipment contributing to a death at work?
No it isn't, and it won't be the last.

The trouble with hearing protection is that if you use stuff that's too good it can be detrimental. Hearing protection is classed by the number of decibels it deadens, so 25dB ear defenders will reduce the noise level your ears are exposed to by 25 dB. Trouble is, with background noise around 35 dB if you take 25 dB off you are down to 10 dB which is heading into sensory depravation area. Too little noise actually makes you lose track of your environment.

We had a case where there was machinery that would start automatically if there was a fire, but when the machines were not running it was normal background noise. The scenario was that, because the machinery didn't give you notice when it was starting, you would be exposed to a lot of noise when the machines started. Common sense said that if the machines started you would get out of the room (also as the machines started there was probably a fire somewhere!}, but someone was adamant that personnel should wear hearing protection in the room all the time regardless of whether the machine was running.

There was a long discussion around wearing hearing protection with the machines off, at one point the purist who insisted personnel wear hearing protection all the time was invited to demonstrate whilst moving around the room. After the third accidental collision with equipment they conceded that it may not be the best solution.
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