Ways to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss While Farming

There are many aspects of farming that can cause noise-induced hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss from exposure to noise is common among farmers and agricultural workers. The key is knowing what is too loud and putting a plan in place for labeling it and making a policy for hearing protection for anyone that is involved in the louder aspects of tasks on your farm.

How Do You Know What is Too Loud?

The key to being ready to prevent noise-induced hearing loss while farming is knowing what is too loud. Without getting technical, any machinery or noise that leaves your ears ringing is a surefire way to know that it’s too loud. However, to get technical, sound is measured in decibels, dB. Generally sounds under 85 dB are considered safe, but prolonged exposure to sounds at 80 dB or higher can cause permanent hearing damage. Some equipment can be so loud that even short bursts of sound that are too loud can result in hearing loss.

What Farming and Agricultural Equipment Can Cause Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?

Hazardous levels of noise are produced by many kinds of agricultural equipment, including:

  • grain dryers
  • tractors
  • combines
  • livestock
  • chainsaws
  • firearms

5 Ways Farmers Protect Themselves from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Putting a policy in place on your farm is the best way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss while on the job. Here are the best ways to control noise for farmers and agricultural workers:

  1. Lower the Sound: If equipment has different sound settings, choose the quietest option whenever possible.
  2. Keep Equipment Maintained: Some equipment might operate louder when they aren’t working correctly or optimally, so make sure to keep on top of everything including when lubricating bearing, replacing worn parts, or fixing mufflers on engines.
  3. Stand Clear of the Noise: If you’re not the one operating he tractor, loader, or ATV, then stand clear of them to prevent them from causing a problem for you.
  4. Wear Hearing Protection: Make sure to get the right earmuffs or earplugs that will protect your hearing from the loud noises that are unavoidable. If you are unsure what type of hearing protection is right for you, don’t hesitate to contact us for help.
  5. Label High Noise Zones: This way, all workers will know when to use their hearing protection in certain areas.

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