Monthly Archives: January 2022

Noise Exposure and Hearing Loss

Protecting your ears in a noisy work environment is vital!
Noise Exposure and Hearing Loss
Source –
“Study Finds More than One-Half of Workers Exposed to Noise do not Use Hearing Protection While on the Job
Non-use was highest among women, young workers and current smokers.
By Shereen HashemOct 11, 2021
A new NIOSH study estimates that more than one-half of noise-exposed workers did not use hearing protection “always” or “usually” when exposed to hazardous occupational noise. A Hearing protection device (HPD) non-use was only measured in workers who reported exposure to noise on the job. The study was published online October 1, 2021 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Around 22 million people in the U.S. are exposed to hazardous noise at work each year. Researchers found female workers, young workers (aged 18-25) and current smokers had a significantly higher prevalence of HPD non-use.
“Our findings regarding HPD non-use by gender and age group are consistent with previous studies,” said Elizabeth Masterson, PhD, research epidemiologist and study co-author. “However, no prior relationship between smoking and HPD non-use has been reported. Our study was the first to find a significant association between current smoking and HPD non-use.”
The study looked at 39,508 adult current workers from 2007 and 2014 National Interview Surveys. These surveys asked participants about their HPD use and occupational noise exposure within the past year. Out of the workers surveyed, 2,057 reported exposure to occupational noise during the previous 12 months in 2007 and 3,380 in 2014. Overall, between 2007 and 2014, the prevalence of HPD non-use did not change significantly.
Among all workers exposed to noise in 2014, researchers found the majority (53 percent) did not wear hearing protection consistently. Industries with the highest HPD non-use among noise-exposed workers included Accommodation and Food Services (90 percent), Health Care and Social Assistance (83 percent) and Education Services (82 percent). Additionally, some of the industries where noise is a well-recognized hazard, were found to have high prevalence of HPD non-use, including Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (74 percent) and Construction (52 percent).
“The prevalence of HPD non-use remains high. Increasing worker awareness and providing training about the importance of proper and consistent use of HPDs can protect workers from the effects of hazardous noise” said Dr. Masterson. “In addition, we need to overcome barriers to HPD use by ensuring that workers have HPDs that are comfortable and do not overprotect from noise so they can hear speech and other important workplace signals.”
For more information about noise and hearing loss prevention research visit the NIOSH website. Visit the Occupational Hearing Loss Surveillance webpage for industry sector-specific statistics on hearing loss, noise exposure and more information.
About the Author
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.”
Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Plant more forests

An interesting article on the importance of trees to our environment – and in the fight against fallout dust.
Plant more forests
Source –
“Want to stop the droughts? Plant more forests
Posted August 9, 2021
Forests are extremely important for the environment. They are dense habitats for animals and plants, they clean groundwater, and provide us with oxygen. Now scientists from ETH Zurich have shown for the first time that forests lead to a rise in precipitation. In other words, forests help fight droughts.
Due to climate change, we are bound to experience more and more devastating droughts. And that is extremely bad news because our farms depend on rain and wildlife is struggling in droughts as well. Scientists knew for a long time that forests affect regional climates. They help regulate local temperatures and relative humidity. However, up until now scientists didn’t know how exactly forests affect precipitation locally and regionally.
Swiss scientists now analysed precipitation data from over 5,800 measuring stations belonging to different measuring networks in five European regions – Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland. And they made some interesting findings – precipitation in forested lands is considerably higher than in agricultural fields. Surprisingly, scientists found that this effect was more pronounced in winter. But how do forests make it rain?
Scientists hypothesize that increase in precipitation is due to the roughness of the surface of the forest. Forests hold up air masses longer and induce more turbulence, which favours precipitation. They are also warmer in winter than their surroundings and different local temperatures increase precipitation as well. This does mean that planting new forests could help us combat droughts, but what kind of effects could we expect?
Researchers estimate that reforestation of 14.4 % of the total area included in the study would increase average precipitation by as much as 7.6 %, which is a significant amount of rain. On the other hand, this area corresponds to an area slightly larger than France. Allocating so much land to a new forest would not be easy, but it would also help us reduce CO2 concentrations. However, scientists are not too optimistic.
Ronny Meier, first author of the study, said: “A forest does not grow overnight; it takes 20-?30 years. The increased evaporation caused by adding forests in one location might draw water away from streams and rivers needed for agricultural irrigation elsewhere.” This means that reforestations efforts should be well-planned and strategic. However, the efforts would be worth it, because it is very likely that forests would help us avoid extreme weather events as well.
Earth needs forests, but humans prefer agricultural fields. The problem is that without the forests our fields are not going to flourish, bees will die and weather will become more and more extreme. We need to be smart about it and plant more forests.
Source: ETH Zurich”
Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Sources of Dust



The sources of dust here are predominantly from roads and open areas on the site. The dust is generated from the movements of trucks, forklifts, earthmoving machinery and light vehicles.  Typically, the methodologies for limiting fallout dust levels include watering, using dust binding agents, enforcing speed limits and engineering controls.  Training of workers are also able to effectively control dust levels, but this must include the training of all subcontractors that are doing the work on the site.


These are temporary and typically contain a fines component which can become airborne in the presence of wind.  Typically, the methodologies for attenuation include watering, using dust binding agents and covering the stock piles with hessian.


This is dust generated during the construction of residential homes, apartments and other concrete structures.  Typically, the methodologies for mitigation include training of contractors to limit dust during the various small construction activities.  Wetting down of exposed dust sources and covering of exposed dust sources.  Grinding and cutting generates excessive dust levels and localised engineering controls should be implemented to prevent this dust from being liberated into the environment.

Putting sand down on concrete or brick road surfaces for protection and sealing purposes should be limited and dust must be prevented from these road surfaces.

The use of shade cloth barriers to break up the wind speed and to allow dust to settle should be implemented downwind as per the prevailing wind during the months of 1 September to 30 April.  These months have a prevailing wind direction from the south east.  The shade cloth should be 2.2meters high and supported by sturdy wooden poles.  The cloth should be a low-density shade cloth that allows the wind to pass through the cloth, rather than to block the flow of the wind.   The method of attaching the cloth to the fence should limit the movement of the cloth so that the cloth lasts longer and should not have any sharp edges that can damage the cloth.  Repairs to shade cloth should be included in the planned maintenance.


The above was taken from a generic report brought out by DustWatch CC

Sources of dust

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Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year!  May it be a blessed and prosperous year for you all.