Many individuals already wear hearing protection devices (HPDs) while listening to music, watching TV, or using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer. But what is the reason these devices are sometimes deemed illegal? In most cases, it’s because the manufacturers don’t want people to use them while performing certain tasks, such as when operating power tools or driving vehicles. Unfortunately, this leaves the user with only two options: Use the device illegally, or live with the discomfort of hearing loss!
Power Tools And Other Industrial Hazards
Power tools are generally speaking considered industrial hazards. Operating them requires a high level of concentration and puts the operator’s hearing at risk. This is why many countries have restricted which jobs can be performed using power tools, and which can’t. In the United States, for example, many construction jobs require the use of power tools, but operating heavy equipment isn’t considered healthcare-related and therefore isn’t covered under worker’s compensation insurance policies. This means that if you’re injured while using a power tool, you’re on your own financially when it comes to medical bills.
The problem is that there are some jobs that no one can do without using a tool. For example, it would be nearly impossible to build a house without using a drill, and it’s not worth the risk of hearing loss to try and do everything yourself. In these cases, the user has no other choice but to wear the HPD while performing the job. Otherwise, they’ll have to find someone to do it for them.
Roads, Tramways, And Aircraft
Aeroplanes, trains, and roadways are also considered industrial hazards. This is because they can cause damage to the ears, even when used briefly, causing discomfort and in some cases, permanent damage. Tramways are also a threat to the health of their passengers, especially if they’re overcrowded. This is why they’re sometimes banned from certain locations, such as schools or factories.
Tramways aren’t just limited to urban areas, either. Some rural communities also don’t allow them due to the threat they pose to livestock and crops. For this reason, try and avoid using these forms of transport if you can. Instead, take the bus or walk to school. It’ll be good for your health and the environment too!
Airports, Museums, And Churches
Airports, museums, and churches, depending on the size of the building, can also pose a threat to the health of its attendees. This is mainly due to exposure to loud noise during their construction and operation. Even if the risk is low for individuals, it’s still a risk that needs to be considered. This is why many of these locations also don’t allow the use of mobile phones or other devices with audio capability. Some of them even go as far as to restrict the use of credit cards, as they create extra work for the already overworked security officers!
There are cases where individuals have gone to court to win the right to use a cell phone or other electronic device while in the presence of a vaccine. Most of these cases, however, end up being limited to people who experience a significant risk of getting sick from the device’s noise. In cases where the risk is low, such as when attending a museum or church, it’s usually legal to use a cell phone or other electronic device without risking infection.
There are also some situations where a device could be considered a legal hazard, but this varies from state to state. For example, some medical devices are considered legal hazards in places like California and Florida, but not in other states where more conservative laws protect the health and safety of individuals. This is why it’s sometimes necessary to check the local rules and regulations before using a device in a healthcare setting or during other activities that require a high level of concentration, such as driving or operating machinery. Local rules also apply when using a device in a location where it’s not officially allowed, such as at an airport or sporting event. The best thing to do in these situations is to ask permission first, and try to find a way to use the device legally. You don’t want to run the risk of being banned from using it, because that would put a damper on all the work you’ve done to protect your hearing.
Many times, working in a healthcare environment, or in a job that requires a high level of concentration, such as driving a truck or a train, airplane piloting, or being a surgeon, is considered an occupational hazard. There are laws and regulations in place to protect the safety of these individuals, and it’s the responsibility of the device’s manufacturer to ensure that they’re aware of these risks before putting them in a customer’s hands. If they’re not, then it’s the customer’s responsibility to do the right thing and protect themselves.
To learn more, check out the CPSC website listed below: