No, I’m not talking about re-ringing a V-8. Like most EB readers, I’ve worked around cars and loud noises most of my life. I never gave a second thought to the high pitched whine of an air ratchet wrench, the sound of a milling machine, or a dragster burnout. Like many readers, and 40,000,000 Americans, I have Tinnitus or ringing in my ears. Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupational illnesses. It is often overlooked because it develops over a long period of time and there are usually no painful effects. Most of us guys are too proud (or dumb) to wear hearing protection but it’s not too late to start as continued loud noise will make your hearing loss worse. And young guys should get in the habit of wearing ear protection now. Be sure to enforce a company policy that requires employees to wear hearing protection. If you are not convinced, read OSHA directive CPL 02-02-035. Hearing protection in a machine shop environment is required by law.

Steve Rich
Sterling Bearing Inc
Kansas City, MO
September, 2014