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

School District 8 swears in new board

Four new trustees join the Kootenay Lake board of education

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Tigz Designs making Christmas merry for Swan Valley Lodge residents

Lori Cameron and her husband, Bill, expect to deliver 90 gift bags to Swan Valley Lodge residents.

Proportional Representation makes your vote count

We can lead the rest of the country with democratic reform.

Enhancing recreational opportunities on Basin Trails

This program is one of the ways the Trust is addressing its strategic priority to support recreation and physical activity in the region.

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Most Read