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Hearing Protection (Read 954 times)
 
Ed Weber
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Hearing Protection
Jul 16th, 2016 at 5:11pm
 
Most safety discussion have turners talking about dust protection and face protection.
How many of you regularly use/wear hearing protection while working with power tools?
It seems to be a less talked about subject.
I wear hearing protection when using just about any of my power tools. I use a pair similar to Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #1 - Jul 16th, 2016 at 7:01pm
 
I wear hearing protection outdoors when mowing the lawn, using a chain saw, or using a leaf blower.  I generally  use protection in the shop when using the table saw.  I usually don't use hearing protection when turning - because that's not nearly as noisy, and because I need to listen for odd noises that indicate that the piece is about to fly off the lathe.
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« Last Edit: Jul 16th, 2016 at 7:02pm by Louie Powell »  

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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #2 - Jul 16th, 2016 at 7:32pm
 
I have a hearing problem and I wear hearing aids; if I use anything other than the lathe -dust collector, power sander- I turn my aids off use a similar set of earmuffs. If I just run the vacuum to pick up chips or the band saw, I don’t wear the muffs, but I do turn the aids off. 

Outdoors with the lawnmower, chainsaw, or leaf blower, I turn the aids off use earmuffs.

The aids off are essentially plugs, but not enough to completely block noise. 

I don't use anything to cover my ears and I leave aids on if I'm just turning or sharpening.

I also shoot a bit and I have a custom set of ear plugs that blocks noise that I wear when I shoot.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #3 - Jul 16th, 2016 at 7:40pm
 
When using the table saw, jointer, planer (all of which are also using the dust collector), the miter saw, circular saw, chain saw (outside) I'm wearing a pair of Stihl ear muffs because they were easy to find locally and I had confidence they work.
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #4 - Jul 16th, 2016 at 9:35pm
 
I do wear hearing protection when I turn and it's not because of the lathe, but because the suction from my dust collector hose is so noisy.

I don't want to look back ten years from now and have to say to myself I wish I had taken better care of my hearing.

These muffs have turned out to be a very good investment for me.

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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #5 - Jul 17th, 2016 at 8:04am
 
I'm still using my old Trition that has built in hearing protection.
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #6 - Jul 17th, 2016 at 10:18am
 
Steve Arnold wrote on Jul 16th, 2016 at 9:35pm:
I don't want to look back ten years from now and have to say to myself I wish I had taken better care of my hearing.


As someone with a hearing problem I would recommend that course of action. I think I lost part of my hearing when I was in the Army. I was in a mortar squad and our hearing protection was the tips of our index fingers.  I think the military now protects I members from future hearing loss. 

After I was out of the Army I did nothing to protect my hearing because I didn’t think about it and I was unaware of the potential for hearing loss. Now I do what I can to protect what I have left.

Hearing loss can be expensive. I think I have spent in the neighborhood of $15K on aids and devices since I realized I had a loss and actually did something about it.

But, it isn’t all bad. I have a program that kills all input and basically turns the aids into plugs. I often eat lunch alone and if I’m sitting near a loud crowd or some obnoxious cell phone yacker I can select that program and sit in peace.

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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #7 - Jul 17th, 2016 at 7:04pm
 
While in the Navy I spent a couple thousand hours riding in a helicopter underneath 2 jet engines and the main transmission. We did ware helmets with pretty good earphones and mike so we could communicate with other members of the flight crew and listen to external radio traffic. The earphones were pretty good at muffling the outside noise and, on top if all, I was required to operate some airborne sonar equipment from time to time.

The residual from all this is that I have a high pitch buzzing in my ears. I got tested for hearing loss and was told that the buzzing and whatever hearing loss that I do have is due to age and is not something that needs correction.

I do not wear hearing protection in the shop or outside because most of the time I do not consider the noise from my electric leaf suxxer or chain saw to be too loud - I have a battery powered lawn mower and trimmer.

I do have a pair of noise cancelling ear protectors that I use when target shooting - maybe I should start using those when using the leaf suxxer (don't like leaf blowers) and chain saw.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #8 - Jul 17th, 2016 at 7:30pm
 
Some additional information for those interested
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #9 - Jul 18th, 2016 at 8:21am
 
"If you need to raise your voice to be heard an arm's length away, the noise is probably loud enough to damage your hearing."   

I've been in some restaurants and bars where you need to shout to be heard by somebody sitting next to you.

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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #10 - Jul 18th, 2016 at 9:18am
 
Bob - that sure sounds like a good time to have a set of noise cancelling ear phones on.
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #11 - Jul 19th, 2016 at 8:13am
 
Dave Gill wrote on Jul 18th, 2016 at 9:18am:
Bob - that sure sounds like a good time to have a set of noise cancelling ear phones on.



It would be especially good if they could make them small enough that my wife wouldn't notice I was wearing them... Wink
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #12 - Jul 19th, 2016 at 10:16am
 
I wear hearing protection (headphone type) whenever I am using the dust collector, any powered tool ( drill motor, etc.) and sometimes I forget they are on so it may carry over into other areas...  however for normal work (roughing, coring, hollow form work, etc.) I usually don't wear hearing protection.  I do, however, usually listen to music using ear buds when doing non-powered work.  Thumbs Up
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« Last Edit: Jul 19th, 2016 at 10:17am by Tom Coghill »  
 
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #13 - Jul 21st, 2016 at 10:09am
 
I have some high-end loss from my time on the flightline (jet turbines are kinda notorious for causing some losses) so i've always been aware of the noise levels in my shop.

As small as my shop is, and walls of cinderblock, if i run the dust collector at all, I need some sort of hearing protection.  Typically, i wear a headset with a radio built into it.  that way, i can block out the drone of the blower and other machinery, and hear my favorite tunes clearly.  The set I have, has a socket to plug in an mp3 player, and routing the cord down inside my turning jacket keeps it from being a snag hazard.  They weren't even all that expensive....

biggest hassle i have with them is they don't quite fit easily under my faceshield, so they have to kinda "cram" under to be properly in place.  it's more of an annoyance than an outright problem....
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« Last Edit: Jul 21st, 2016 at 10:10am by Tim Hyatt »  
 
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #14 - Jul 21st, 2016 at 10:45am
 
I'm sure i have  hearing loss from the many, many concerts I attended in my youth!!

When you manage to get close enough to the stage of a Rolling Stones concert that you can see the speaker cones vibrate, odds are that you have hearing loss!!

I remember a concert: J Giles, King Crimson and Humble Pie... at the time the 3 loudest bands out there all at the Spectrum in Philadelphia which in itself had the worst acoustics of any place.

They tell me i had a great time... I don't remember! Shocked Shocked Thumbs Up

I use ear protection when i'm using my chop saw & dust collector at the frame shop and at my shop at home when I have the shop vac on to collect the sanding dust at the lathe.

No sense losing what's left! Thumbs Up

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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #15 - Jul 21st, 2016 at 7:28pm
 
There was a thread a few days ago about using smart phones in the shop.

There are several smart phone apps that will measure sound pressure  (in dB).

So even if you can't hear it, you can put a number on it.
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #16 - Jul 22nd, 2016 at 10:54am
 
Louie Powell wrote on Jul 21st, 2016 at 7:28pm:
There are several smart phone apps that will measure sound pressure  (in dB).


Good point, thanks Louie  Thumbs Up
For those that say they wear it only when...
You may need to wear it more often than you think. A smartphone db app could let you know weather you hearing is a t risk or not.
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #17 - Jul 24th, 2016 at 6:44am
 
If you use the phone app to measure noise levels (or a noise meter), measure near the tool to measure total noise generated by the tool, but measure near your ears to get noise exposure levels to determine whether or not you need hearing protection.  In another life, I did this for a living and measured a lot of noise levels on different machines. 

I use a shopvac for dust collection and cleaning so I don't have one of the big dust collectors.  I rarely use hearing protection in my shop because the noise exposure is relatively low.  I do use it always on the riding mower and tractor, when using the chain saw, and when shooting.  I'm a retired AF pilot and have some high end hearing loss, but it's caused by jet noise not shop tools.

As men age we naturally lose hearing in the higher frequency ranges.  As women age, their voices naturally get higher.  We're not ignoring them, it's nature ... at least that's what I tell my wife.

Steve
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Re: Hearing Protection
Reply #18 - Jul 26th, 2016 at 10:30am
 
we learned alot about hearing loss in the AF...as a CFR crew, we not only worked on the flightline, we lived there too;  the firestation faced directly on the primary taxiway.  our bunkrooms had to have extra sound deadening insulation, and we were given not only good quality earplugs, but headsets as well.  my time ended just as the AF was starting to install noise-suppression headsets on all the firetrucks for the crews.   we regularly had to wear recording meters to measure what we were exposed to.   

The irony was, our results kept coming back with "controllable" levels...meaning the measures in place should have been able to deal with it, but yet a lot of the guys were testing with significant losses......and it was the younger guys who were reporting the issues....
   Then, one day, a few of us NCO's were sitting outside at the picnic table outside the day room, just hanging out as it was "after" duty hours, the Chief was hanging out with us, and one of the new airmen pulled up in his new car....with...yep...the stereo blasting.....   one of the guys said "wait, i can't hear what you said.."...and we all had a lightbulb moment....     Few months later, new regulations about automotive stereo levels started appearing in OIs around the base....    Sometimes it's not the sources you think it is, that are causing the problem.....
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« Last Edit: Jul 26th, 2016 at 10:31am by Tim Hyatt »  
 
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