3M Protecting Against Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (
3M Protecting Against Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
Wednesday, Apr 01, 2020
Workers within the oil and gas industry face the challenge of working in dirty, loud environments on a day-to-day basis. Noise created by drilling rigs, pumps, generators, fluid movement and heavy equipment can become a health issue for offshore workers. It is therefore essential that workers are equipped with the correct hearing equipment that can withstand these elements but at the same time allow them to communicate with co-workers.

In fact, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the world’s most prevalent occupational diseases and can result in chronic health effects, like sleep disturbance, hypertension, anxiety and stress, particularly to offshore workers who are regularly exposed to prolonged periods of noise hazard.

Improving hearing conservation within the oil and gas industry requires accurate detection of noise hazards, proper selection of hearing protection solutions and comprehensive hearing conservation programs designed for the rigors of real-world conditions.

With this in mind, 3M has developed a four-step programme to help operators understand and put in place an effective hearing conservation strategy, which covers:

–    Identification and measurement of potential noise hazards;
–    Selection of appropriate hearing protection equipment (HPE);
–    Training for employees;
–    Validation of hearing protection.

Hearing protection needs to be provided where noise levels exceed 80dB(A). At levels above 85dB(A), wearing the protection must be strictly enforced. 3M recommends that companies provide a comprehensive hearing conservation program for all employees exposed to 8-hour Time-Weighted Average (TWA) sound levels at or above 85 decibels on the A-weighting scale (dBA), including:

–    Noise exposure monitoring;
–    Engineering and administrative noise controls;
–    Hearing protection;
–    Audiometric testing;
–    Employee training and motivation.

With solutions for detection, protection and validation, 3M provide a wide range of hearing protection equipment that ensures the correct level of attenuation is achieved, thus ensuring maximum protection, whilst maintaining comfort and compatibility with other equipment.

Click here to view the 3M Hearing Conservation brochure

Protecting your workforce needs a holistic approach and that’s what 3M delivers. 3M’s team of global experts have knowledge you can tap into and trials to make sure you make the right product decision, whether it’s basic earplugs, or advanced Peltor Communications equipment. Even down to helping ensure that your workforce will be sufficiently engaged to wear them. So, whatever the environment and the individual’s needs, 3M’s broad selection of comfortable, stylish and easy to wear hearing protectors will give the optimal answer.

For more information, please visit www.3m.co.uk/hearing

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