Hearing Loss A Problem
Hearing Loss A Problem. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.
I’m an old rock ‘n roller. Over the years I have played in a lot of bands with really loud music and there is really only one way to listen to rock music on the stereo and that is…loud. Of course now I suffer from minor hearing loss. Interestingly farmers are at an increased risk for hearing loss from machinery noise, according to a study by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The study was done by Melissa Miller and Donald Fuller. Fuller says the study had some interesting results. One was that less than half used hearing protection. The top reason was inconvenience. But the second one fuller says he thought was very interesting.
FULLER: At least 48% of them indicated that they didn’t want to wear hearing protection because they were afraid by doing so they wouldn’t be able to hear the machinery, especially if there were a situation where there was a malfunction.
Fuller says farmers that were surveyed also gave reasons that would improve their chances for wearing hearing protection. And the main one was making them less cumbersome.
FULLER: 61% of the respondents, 49 out of the 80 indicated that if manufacturers could make them more comfortable to wear, they’d probably wear them more often.
Fuller says that’s where the education comes into play, because farmers can now get customized ear plugs to use while working with machinery.
FULLER: It cuts down the intensity level quite a bit by about 35, almost 40db. But the frequency response is essentially the same so you are not losing a lot of frequency and maybe that’s what a lot of farmers need to be educated on is the fact that maybe you might want to think about custom plugs. It’ll cut the intensity but you’ll still be able to hear the frequency so if there’s a malfunction then, typically with a machinery malfunction likely it’s going to be some kind of a pitch that’s going to clue that there’s some type of malfunction.
Fuller says farmers can check to see if their insurance covers the cost of custom ear plugs. Even if it doesn’t it shouldn’t discourage farmers from buying them to protect their hearing. Trust me. I’d give anything to have that crisp, clear hearing of my youth. That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information