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3M campaign to protect workers from hazardous noise

15-02-2010
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3M campaign to protect workers from hazardous noise

To help people avoid noise-induced hearing loss, 3M has launched a safety campaign to educate people on how to detect and help protect them from hazardous noise.

Called the Hearing Pledge, the campaign is designed to raise awareness of hearing loss and preventative measures that can be taken in the workplace.

According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 275 million people worldwide individuals have suffered hearing loss – many due to excessive noise both on and off the job. 

“Hearing loss is the number one sensory disability in the world – yet it is also one of the most preventable,” said Terry Gorman, 3M Senior Occupational Hygienist.

By taking the pledge at: http://go.3M.com/xmd people can commit to wearing hearing protection when exposed to noise in excess of 85 decibels (dB).

Prolonged exposure to sounds louder than 85 dB can damage a person’s ears and lead to permanent hearing loss and other symptoms. People can pledge and also share the information and the pledge site with friends and family. Those who pledge can opt to enter into a giveaway, with prizes such as a GoPro HERO 3 Silver Edition Video Camera.

Noise and other sounds that exceed 85 dB come from numerous activities, like at work in a noisy assembly line or warehouse.

At home this may include mowing the lawn, using power tools or listening to music – or when watching fireworks or attending a football game.

For many people, constant exposure to excessive noise is part of the job description.

A few workplace environments where hazardous noise is common include manufacturing, assembly, farming, military, oil and gas, transportation, entertainment, mining and construction sites.

“Many workers choose to go without hearing protection because of discomfort or inconvenience.

“This can lead to permanent hearing loss, as well tinnitus which is a constant ringing, buzzing or whistling in the ear and a myriad of other effects like sleep disturbance, hypertension, anxiety and stress.

"That’s why raising awareness of the hearing loss epidemic and preventative measures is so important,” said Gorman.

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