The nature of rural work means that farmers are regularly subjected to loud noises from animals and farm machinery, which all could lead to possible hearing loss over time says New Zealand’s leading farm consultants, AgSafe NZ.
“Research has highlighted that people who work or live on farms, statistically have higher rates of hearing loss than compared to the rest of the population,” says Jim Findlay, Rural Consultant for AgSafe New Zealand Ltd.
PCBUs (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) need have a practical and up to date noise management plan in place to keep the noise levels down for the safety of everyone on the farm.
Sometimes, working in a noisy environment is unavoidable. If the eight-hour average exposure is over 85dB, or the peak noise level goes to 140 dB or over, “A noise management safety plan must be in place to keep the noise down to safe level,” adds Jim.
Section 36(3)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 requires worker health and work conditions to be monitored to prevent injury/illness. Section 36(1) dictates that a person conducting a business need to safeguard the health and safety of workers so far as is realistically practicable.
Eliminate the noise source is the best solution. This can be done by replacing noisy machinery with quieter machinery. When you can fully eliminate the noise source, the next best thing is to isolate the noise hazard. You can use silencers, barriers and sound dampeners, to put controls in place to reduce the source of the noise.
Educate everyone who will be on or working on the farm with training on noise control measures and provided them with hearing protectors such as earmuffs and earplugs to minimise any harm and ensure they wore and fitted correctly.
Contact AgSafe NZ Ltd:
Phone: 0274 587 724