10 March 2008

Battle against construction noise

Far too many construction workers ask ”What?” far too often because of hearing damaging noise in construction sites.

A European Union directive sets the upper limit for noise in the workplace at 87 dB. Yet, about half of the construction workers in Denmark are exposed to damaging noise levels above 85 dB in their workplaces. The Danish Work Environment Agency is responding by promoting better work environment, focusing on the reduction of excessive noise.

”We know the construction industry is among those most affected by damaging noise levels. But we also know that hearing damage is preventable, often by simple means,” stated Sonja Ploug Jensen of the Work Environment Agency.

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Remember hearing protection

During the agency's campaign, Danish construction workers have often been found to neglect using hearing protection. The agency has responded by issuing cautions mandating immediate corrective action. This campaign will be continued.

In 2006, a total of 1,770 work related hearing injuries among 2.3 million in the Danish work force were reported to the Danish Work Injury Board.

According to the Danish Ministry of the Environment, the problems associated with high noise levels in the construction industry are expected to gradually decline in coming years. This is due in part to declining numbers of employees in the construction sector, as well as to the measures being taken to protect employees against excessive noise exposure.

Source: www.mim.dk, www.ask.dk, www.dst.dk, www.osha.europa.eu, www.at.dk

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