Smoke Detector Hearing Damage

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wrote:

all too common. I'm glad I'm old enough to retire so I don't have to put up with it anymore. Today's workers are conditioned to take no responsibility or initiative, and common sense doesn't enter the picture. My workers have been told many times by their union: "If it's not written down don't do it." I could relate numerous horror stories along these lines. No wonder manufacturing and service jobs are being shipped overseas.
Jim
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Or just carry a towel to muffle the sound of the alarms he tests. Its not rocket science. Apparantly, he does need to be told to wipe his ass by his supervisor.
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wrote in message

Please define OP for me. I have seen it used in numerous post recently and am a bit too dense to decipher it.
Thanks.
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Original Poster.
HTH, Joe F.
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wrote in message

original post or poster
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wrote in message

Thanks to all who responded.
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wrote:

OK, let me clarify the situation. This is a huge establishment, and there are more than one building involved. My supervisor had me working on another project, then he paged me to go over to the other building, and did not say why. I went over there and he and another worker were already testing the detectors (WITHOUT ear protection). As soon as the first one went off, I asked my sup. if he had brought the ear silencers, and I told him this noise hurts my ears. He just said they are not required, and we'd be done testing the detectors in a short while. I told him that I'd prefer to wear them, and STRESSED that the sound really hurts my ears. He told me that by the time I go back to our shop (in the other building), to get the ear silencers, , they would be done testing the detectors, and we needed to get that job done because there were many other projects left to do for the day. He told me to just plug my ears.
OK, now what do I plug them with? My hands are being used, so I cant use my fingers. These decectors have a switch that must be turned from OFF to TEST (not pushed), then turned back, AFTER is squaks. I am up on a ladder and I do like to steady myself with one hand on the ladder. Even if I didn't use my hand on the ladder, there would still be only one ear plugged for part of the time the thing is squaking. Some of the detectors would activate as soon as I plugged in the AC line (dual powered types), and it takes TWO hands to get them back on the ceiling, (cant plug my ears while doing this). And last but not least, the sup and other guy were testing other detectors only feet away from me. So, what was I supposed to do, plug my ears and ask another guy to do all the work?
You know the old story, bitch too much, and go look for another job. I shutup, did my work, and now I want to find the legal requirements and other info on this, because it won't happen again. Next time we check those things, I plan to cite any and all requirements (of law), that ear plugs or silencers be worn, and if no laws apply, I want to know why not, and will contact OSHA.
Lastly: This "done in a short time" killed a good part of a day, or over 3 hours of listening to those noisy things. I plugged my ears when I could, (with my fingers), but that was probably 30% of the time at most.

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snipped-for-privacy@NOTHING.com wrote:

the smoke detector in the towel. This will muffle the sound.
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quoting:

There are nice tight-fitting headsets for noisy places. Better than ear plugs since they can be removed and put back on at will.
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net (JM) wrote in message

I much prefer the very inexpensive foam plugs. Their attenuation is actually greater than many of the headsets.
Noise levels set by OSHA have time limits with them. i.e. you can be exposed to so many hours and a certain sound pressure level. European law mandates ear protection above a certain level (90db I think) regardless of time exposed, but I do not think this is the case with OSHA. If you were testing alarms, even with 10 seconds/alarm, the time exposure may be proven to be limited and hearing protection was not required by OSHA.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Perhaps so, and I agree about OSHA. (Hell, the GM plant here had someone fall off a crane 30 years ago and it only comes out now that it was never investigated ... because somebody else fell off.)
Nevertheless, the OP has rights,and I advised him how to proceed based on those rights. The workmen's comp laws are designed to avoid lawsuits and excessive torts, of the type that raise so much ire, and as I pointed out unlike torts they don't concern themselves (as much, anyway) with dividing up responsibility.
I can imagine you laughing at legless railroad men back in the day.
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Half a century ago the workplace was much different. Employees had no "rights" and put up with a poor workplace in many cases. There is way this could have been taken care of with little fuss. First, if the OP has a hearing problem, he should carry protection with him "just in case". Plugs are negligible in weight and size.
An alternate method is to block the sound. Were I work a siren goes off on some machines it they are stopped for any reason. Not unbearable, but a minor annoyance. Cover it with your had, handkerchief, rag, paper towel works. Just a little common sense and ingenuity. By the second or third detector, he should have been able to figure something. He said it went on for three hours. Plenty of time to act.
FYI, one of my responsibilities at work is safety. We are below the OSHA limits on sounds level in every area of the plant. We still provide and encourage the use of sound protection for all workers. It is not the legal obligation that makes us do it, but the moral obligation to co-workers. Ed
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Dan Hartung wrote:

Where did you get that information? very doubtful.

A "good" worker's comp attorney? A lot like free legal/medical advice on the internet. A "good" worker's comp attorney will take a percent of the benefits the worker is entitled to by law, which include benefits for most types of permanent losses. Assuming the employee had a recent hearing test which established a baseline.

The guy probably has employer furnished hearing protection but chose not to wear it? Sue who?

The event should be reported to the employer ASAP since there seems to have been some sort of injury. Then, the employer will send employee to their doc, at their expense. They record the injury in an OSHA log, report to the state (varies by state). If a permanent injury has occurred, or time is lost, it may require reporting to OSHA; the employer probably is thoroughly familiar.
A short beep from a smoke alarm, long enough to know it works, doesn't amount to much time for exposure, but being right up next to it isn't good. Here is a link to OSHA's hearing stuff:
http://www.acoem.org/position/statements.asp?CATA_IDS
It's pretty unusual to have pain after noise exposure - ringing in your ears, and a "muffled" sense would be more typical. A short beep on each alarm is still relatively little time of exposure, even if you change batteries really quickly.
On the outside chance you have a policy and procedure manual - usually collecting dust on a shelf along side the MSDS manual - it might say that hearing protection is required. Hope not. :o)
PS: Hearing your lawn mower hit a rock will do exactly no good. The damage is done when it hits. Got your steel toe shoes on when you mow?
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On Sun, 04 Jan 2004 19:07:02 GMT, " snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net"

When I hear it, I back off the mower. If I dont hear it when it first touched the rock, it does more damage. I dont mean loose rocks, I mean those large ones enbedded in the ground that get snarfed if the blade is set on low. The more I mow that place, the more I learn where they are, and even have removed some of them, but the place is on a hill, and rains tend to cause some to surface at times.
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It is good that there are Unions. Many people are incapable of thinking for themselves and would never make it outside of a Union workplace. Get a friggin' life, man! Des

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No offense meant (at least not too much anyway) but it's people like you who have made seatbelt, helmet, and other laws mandatory and lawyers rich.
If your ears hurt, wear some hearing protection!! Geez, do you need someone to tell you when to take a drink of water? You wouldn't happen to smoke or drink to excess do you? If so, I'll tell you to quit or cutdown - no thanks necessary.
On Sat, 03 Jan 2004 18:16:49 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@NOTHING.com wrote:

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Why didn't you use hearing protection after the first test?
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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