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Bin Men In York To Get Hearing Tests


6:53am 21st May 2013

Bin men in York are going to have their hearing tested. The team which normally investigate noisy neighbours will be monitoring the noise levels of bins instead.

City of York Council will be taking action this week as part of Noise Action Week (Monday 20 to Friday 25 May) looking at the impact of workplace noise on its bin men.

The council’s environmental protection unit (EPU) usually works with noisy neighbours and premises but it’s lending its expertise to monitor the effects of working in an noisy environment.

Staff from the council’s waste services work in a noisy environment, say City of York Council. From manoeuvring heavy vehicles, working alongside road traffic, operating refuse compactors and emptying broken glass, the noise risks are many and varied, they add. Staff in these areas are provided with ear protection and are required to follow rigorous safety procedures, but these need to be kept up-to-date, say the council.

The EPU will be looking at all areas of noisy working conditions and assessing the impact of this noise on the hearing of staff. Each staff member will have personal monitors to record their exposure to noise throughout their working day for a period of up to one week, say the council. The EPU will monitor the exposure of refuse operatives on different vehicles and will observe work practices. City of York Council add that EPU will then make recommendations to further protect their hearing and improve procedures, if needed.

Councillor Dafydd Williams, Cabinet Member for Crime and Stronger Communities, said: “Workplace noise is treated as an occupational hazard with measures in place to minimise the risk to the hearing of members of staff. It is important to protect the health and safety of our employees and I’m pleased we can deploy our in-house experts from the environmental protection unit to assess this and suggest improvements to our working practice.”

The city council says it's updating it's safety procedures to protect their health and safety.

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