FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — WorkSafeBC has issued what it says is ‘a call to action’ for employers in hazardous-noise industries, to insure their workers have access to hearing loss prevention programs and annual testing.
It is also calling for vigilant monitoring to determine where and when the highest levels of noise exposure are occurring and to take appropriate engineering control measures to reduce exposures.
The WorkSafe bulletin issued this week is based on 2014 hearing test results, and says overall, more than one-third of the workers in the oil and gas industry showed signs of noise-related hearing loss– and specifically, more than 36 pe rcent of workers in the drilling subsector were victims.
Fort St. John WorksSafe BC Regional Prevention Manager, Budd Phillips, says the test results for oil and gas workers also showed hearing loss more than double those for other industries with hazardous noise levels.
In calling for the oil and gas industry to ensure the health and safety of its workers and prevent noise-related hearing loss injuries, WorkSafeBC also claims to have data indicating hearing protection used in the industry is in some cases insufficient and needs to be re-evaluated by employers.
It claims that 27 per cent of young workers in the oil and gas field servicing sub-sector report they don’t wear hearing protection devices.