Now I want you to think very carefully…when was the last time you considered how your work affects your Health, not your safety but your Health?
Many people concern themselves day to day with how their work may affect their immediate safety but then do not consider the possible long term affects i.e their health.
Let me share with you a recent site experience. I was observing an operative on site using a nail gun, he was wearing as required by the site rules, his basic PPE (hard hat, high viz and boots). He also had an item of task specific PPE, safety glasses to protect against a deflected nail or debris. On first impressions this may appear to be completely suitable until we realise that there is a significant hazard to the operative’s health here that has been overlooked…the noise!!
The noise output from this particular nail gun was in the region of 120 decibels which is the equivalent to that of a jet engine during pre-take off. The continual use of this tool without suitable hearing protection could seriously damage the hearing of both the operative and those working in close proximity. The nature of the noise emitted from the nail gun, is what lead the operative to believe that it wasn’t really an issue, the fact that it was not sustained ambient noise and was intermittent and percussive in nature (which is just as dangerous to our hearing over time) is what led him to this incorrect assumption.
This oversight emphasises the need to properly Risk Assess all activities to ensure we protect our employees to the best possible degree.