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

Quilts for injured soldiers will be some of many on display at quilt show in Chilliwack

Chilliwack Quilters’ Guild brings its quilt show, Our Fabric Gems, to Chilliwack Alliance Church

‘Ballet Rocks’ brings a modern take on ballet at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Ballet Rocks pairs an eclectic mix of music with four Royal Winnipeg Ballet Alumni choreographers

BC Children’s virtual care sites open at Abbotsford and Chilliwack hospitals

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

Sardis Library escape room based on hit Netflix show Stranger Things

This is the second escape room in Chilliwack that the Sardis Library has put together this year

Chilliwack maternity ward gets bundle of new equipment

Breast pumps, small fridges for patient rooms and freezer for donor breast milk given to hospital

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

Man arrested in fatal stabbing at Surrey gas station

Victim pronounced deceased at the scene; RCMP cordon off area

Most Read