Smoke Detector Hearing Damage

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I work at a hospital and do maintenance. When I mow the lawn or run the snowblower, I am REQUIRED to wear ear silencers. I find this not only rediculous, but dangerous. If the mower blade hits a rock, I cant even hear it. I have been mowing and running power equipment all my life, and my hearing is fine. Or, at least my hearing WAS fine until December 31. On December 31, it is mandatory that we change the batteries in the smoke detectors in every room throughout the hospital. That means every patient room, the hallways, the bathrooms, even the janitor closet. Of course, changing the battery also means testing the detectors. So here I was standing on a ladder with these things blasting one foot from my ears, in a tiny closet. Room after room I had to listen to this noise until I could barely hear anyone talking, and this went on over half the day. I was not told by my supervisor to wear ear protection, apparently it's not in the OSHA book, which means it's not required.
My ears literally hurt after this......
While smoke detectors are a good thing to save lives in the event of a fire, those saved may end up deaf.....
I am looking for facts and statistics about this. Anybody have any?
Next year, I will INSIST on wearing ear silencers, or will refuse to do the job until I can wear them.....
Freddy
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Common sense would dictate that an adult wouldn't have to be told to wear hearing protection. BIG DUH!!!
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snipped-for-privacy@NOTHING.com wrote:

Uh, OK -- a guy who thinks that wearing ear silencers while running a leaf blower with the dB level of a small jet engine is ridiculous, but yet he finds that anoying little peep-peep-peep of a smoke detector in a closet deafening? Well, we humans just aren't a logical bunch, are we?
Be that as it may, any idiot who values his hearing wears ear protection of some sort for any sustained-noise situation, be it using a circular saw, hammering nails in planks, sitting at a NASCAR or Indy track, blowing snow, or listening to ones wife or mother-in-law drone on incessantly about something or another in the car. And unless you're one of those naturally-insufferable jerks who like to make an issue out of absolutely everything no matter how petty, I really don't think you really need to do any protesting about wearing ear protection. Just buy whatever ear plugs are suitable for the dB level, and just wear 'em. No sense in making a big hairy scene about it.
Besides, actually hearing a rock you've run over with a lawn mower would be the least of your problems compared to when it plows thru all that meat and bone on your leg, or some bystander's skull, at about 100mph. I would think that as a safety-conscious maintenance guy, you'd have the foresight in the first place to make sure the lawn didn't have any rocks laying about in the first place.
AJS
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Write your congressman and DEMAND that all hospital smoke detectors be HARD WIRED. That way- you would never have to test the batteries. You might also suggest to your congressman that ALL smoke detectors should plug into a wall outlet and contain a QUALITY RECHARGABLE battery. A good rechargable battery will last TWENTY times longer than the stinking piece of CRAP that should be OUTLAWED in a smoke detector-known as the 9v chemical battery- which you can buy in the dollar store and usually come right out of the box- FULLY DISCHARGED! snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com
wrote:

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Smoke detectors that use 9V batteries come with instructions that say to use *alkaline* ones, widely available in all kinds of places other than dollar stores.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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quoting:

This raises an inportant question. Why are smoke detectors BATTERY OPERATED in a COMMERCIAL BUILDING anyway????
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OPERATED
The high-rise off I worked in years ago had SD's hard-wired to a central station in the building and it in turn was off site monitored.
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net (JM) wrote:

I can't tell from the OP, but it's quite possible he was changing out the backup batteries. Hard-wired without backup batteries (commercial or not) is just asking from trouble. Probably against most codes, too.
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In commercial buildings, I see hardwired smoke detectors. Also better grade fluorescent light fixtures (which is something that I do have a beef about).
Hardwired smoke detectors for home use are available.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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Ear silencers? No such thing. Hearing protection lowers the amount of sound reaching the eardrum but nothing will totally "silence" the noise. Bone conduction alone will allow some hearing in those not totally deaf to begin with. If you can't hear a mower hit a rock even wearing hearing protection, you're already deaf.
My father-in-law also has used power equipment all his life and claims his hearing is just fine. The fact that he's deaf as a post and refuses to admit it is beside the point.
This guy has got to be a troll.
Also please note: The proper way to test a smoke detector is with *smoke*! Hitting the little test button just tests the battery and the buzzer, *not* the smoke sensor!
snipped-for-privacy@NOTHING.com wrote:

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David Thomas wrote:

Here is a quick hearing test - speak to him when he is looking at you, then again when he is looking away. Folks with noise induced hearing loss read lips without even realizing it.
Lots of folks (includes most people over age 50, most people who have worked in factories or used machinery) have noise induced hearing loss, which occurs at higher frequencies first. Most evident - early on - by having difficulty following conversation in a noisy room. Since high frequencies are lost first, it may account for the fact that men can't hear their wives but they can hear other men because the woman's voice is higher pitch. It isn't ALL stubbornness or personality :o)
OSHA recommends use of more than one type of hearing protection for some exposures.

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Reminds me of an old cartoon. Back in the heyday of component stereo systems, Stereo Review (or similar) showed the front window of a store having a sale on speakers with the slogan, "Senior Citizen Special: 500 - 5,000 Hz, Why waste money on useless frills?" It was funnier when I was under 50. <g>
Joe F.
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Even folks whose hearing is _perfectly_fine_ read lips without realizing it. I became aware of this about ten years ago, when we hired a deaf guy where I worked at the time. He can speak, somewhat, but not clearly (owing to being totally deaf from birth). I was _amazed_ to discover how much more easily I could understand his speech when I was looking directly at him. And there isn't _anything_ wrong with my hearing; that's been confirmed at various times by two different MDs and a certified audiologist.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Guy thought his wife was hard of hearing. He read a test in a magazine, and decided to try it out. While she was washing dishes, across the room he asked her "What's for dinner, hon?" and she didn't reply.
He walked a couple steps closer, and again asked what's for dinner. She again didn't reply.
He walked closer still, and asked again. She again didn't reply.
He walked closer, so that he was nearly touching her. And asked a fourth time. This time she turned around, looked him in the eye and said "For the fourth time, dear, CHICKEN!!!!!"
--

Christopher A. Young
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Just wear ear plugs. Why do you need permission? I am VERY sensitive to noise & even wore them during a fire drill in our bldg when we returned but the alarm was still going off - it was set off by mistake to begin with. I wear them on New Year's Eve, July 4th, concerts, even movies...yes, movies - for some reason lately the movies are too loud - even for my husband, although he doesn't wear ear plugs. I think the louder the noise we listen to the more we need louder noise, etc. etc.
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Christ, I wear ear plugs on long drives with my kids!
-- Best Regards, Dennis J Sunday Home Inspection Systems Www.homeinspectionsystems.com

noise
alarm
them on

reason
wear
louder
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Use your head Fred. I always plug my ears when testing the detector. that SOB is loud! A certain level of constant noise can hurt your hearing over time. It don't take as much as many would think and the hearing loss is not noticeable over a short period as it may take years with the lower levels. Check OSHA. they may have chart in decibels.
I'd be surprised you still couldn't hear a rock being hit with hearing protection on. It does not block all the sound. What difference does it make if you hear the rock getting hit or not? The damage is done!. John

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Use ear dogs Dumb ass Sick a hot dog in each ear, then you can eat em when your done Stormin -- Freddy, your a lousy troll
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snipped-for-privacy@NOTHING.com wrote:

I hope I don't have to tell you to see a doctor immediately. (No, he doesn't have to be at your hospital.) Hearing injury this serious could lead to permanent hearing loss.

Never heard of it, but the 85dB level mandated for many (most?) detectors is very close to the 90dB level that can cause permanent loss after 15 minutes of exposure.

I also suggest you do the testing with a broom handle. But you should definitely contact an ear specialist so that you can document any lasting effects, the sooner the better, and then secure a good workmen's comp attorney.
Since this is an employment issue, workmen's comp law will *probably* be required rather than the usual liability torts. This means that arbitration will be the method rather than lawsuit/settlement, and your ability to secure compensation will be strictly limited by schedules of injury and functionality (I don't think lost income will come into play here, though). You also won't be subject to joint-and-several liability issues or, as I understand it, any judgement regarding your percentage of personal responsibility [for not voluntarily protecting your own ears, or standing so close to the horn], but I could be wrong.
I would also suggest contacting OSHA, probably after consulting with your attorney, so that they can add to their database of recommendations. A recent NYT series documented their failures to really prosecute even repeat offenders, going back years and years, so I wouldn't expect them to go to bat for you. But you could think of others down the road.
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For what? To tell them he is too dumb to wear hearing protection? Does the supervisor have to tell him to wipe his ass after taking a dump?
If you know you have sensitivity to noise, you know you will be testing alarms, you go get hearing protection. The guy needs an infusion of common sense. Why should society pay for his stupidity? If the supervisor told him NOT to wear hearing protection, that would be reason to complain. He has to have some responsibility for his own well being. It only takes a few second to put plugs in your ears or put on the muffs.
The OP is terminally stupid. OSHA will be of no help to him. Ed
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