Oil rig in northern B.C. (Wikimedia Commons)

45% of oil and gas workers have noise-induced hearing loss: WorkSafeBC

Agency releases new safety bulletin as data show increase of 33% to 45% over five years

Officials are WorkSafeBC are sounding the alarm about an increase in hearing loss among oil-and-gas drilling workers.

The number of employees showing signs of noise-induced hearing loss has risen from 33 per cent to 45 per cent between 2012 and 2017, according to hearing test data collected by employers, WorkSafeBC said in a news released on Monday. Two-thirds of those workers were under the age of 35.

That compares to 13 per cent of workers in all other noise industry showing signs of such hearing loss last year.

On the other hand, the number of employees who reported hearing hearing protection has also climbed, from 94 to 98 per cent, with most people relying on foam earplugs.

“There are a number of reasons why workers may be diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss even though they are wearing some form of hearing protection,” said WorkSafeBC occupational audiologist Sasha Brown in the release.

“The earplugs or earmuffs might be the wrong size, inserted or worn incorrectly, not worn for long enough, or they may not be providing enough protection for the duration and intensity of noise exposure.”

The agency released a new safety bulletin on Monday as well, outlining measures employers can take to prevented noise-induced hearing loss, including making sure staff wear hearing protection that fits and that they understand how to wear it correctly.

Employers are required to provide hearing-loss prevention programs, monitor noise levels and conduct annual hearing tests for workers exposed to hazardous noise levels, defined as 85 decibels in the A scale for eight hours. An alarm clock or very busy street comes is at around 85 decibels.

Since 2006, more than 41,000 claims have been accepted in B.C. for noise-induced hearing loss.



laura.baziuk@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Japanese students visit LSS for cultural exchange

Ladysmith families hosted 35 students from Furukawa Gakuen High School

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

PHOTOS: Old Time Christmas 2019

Friday, December 6 was Ladysmith’s Old Time Christmas. Here are some of the highlights from the night

Student artwork on display in ‘Well Lit’ installation

Thoughtful Place Design, 49th Parallel, and Festival of Lights came together to showcase student art

Ladysmith set to star in new Syfy series: Resident Alien

Ladysmith will play the role of Patience, Colorado in the series

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Firefighters called to burning motorhome on Nanaimo’s waterfront

Nanaimo Fire Rescue extinguishes blaze Monday afternoon on Esplanade and Irwin Street

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Most Read