Unfortunately, Ed, this type of attitude in the workforce is becoming
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.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
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.
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
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:
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?
On Sun, 04 Jan 2004 19:07:02 GMT, " email@example.com"
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.
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
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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