BRITISH safety chiefs have been ridiculed for telling people to wear ear protectors when putting up shelves over the Bank Holiday weekend.
They warn DIY fans are putting their hearing at risk because they fail to realise how “dangerously noisy” drilling and sanding can be.
Safety chiefs have been ridiculed for telling DIY buffs to wear earmuffs this Bank Holiday weekend[/caption]
The average electric drill emits 100dB and a handheld belt sander 95dB – noisier than a factory or tube train.
But 58 per cent of adults are unaware these tasks exceed the 85dB limit generally considered safe. And only 18 per cent of people wear ear defenders when using power tools at home.
Those aged 55 and over are least likely to wear them, a poll of 2,000 adults by the British Standards Institution found.
People said they did not think they are necessary, were too lazy to buy them or thought they were too expensive.
Jo Behari, author of The Girls’ Guide to DIY, said: ‘This is health and safety gone mad’[/caption]
A pair of quality-approved ear defenders cost upwards of £16. Health and safety rules say employers must protect workers from extended exposure to volumes above 85dB.
Anne Scorey, from the BSI, said: “It’s worrying to see that so many Brits are exposing themselves to unsafe levels of noise.
“It’s down to a widespread misunderstanding around hearing safety, to the extent that some in the survey even believed that listening to music through headphones will negate any risk.
‘People should not be unnecessarily worried if they are putting up shelves without earmuffs this weekend’, the author said[/caption]
“We’d urge people to keep an eye out for ear defenders that carry the BSI Kitemark before they start their DIY tasks this weekend.”
And Vaitheki Maheswaran, from Action on Hearing Loss, said: “Quality ear defenders are an excellent and affordable way to protect your hearing.”
But Jo Behari, author of The Girls’ Guide to DIY, said: “This is health and safety gone mad.
“People don’t need to dress up like they are doing a day shift on an industrial site just for an odd-job around the house.
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“Guidance like this is likely to put people off doing DIY and adds unnecessary expense.
“People should not be unnecessarily worried if they are putting up shelves without earmuffs this weekend.”
The Sun told last year how safety experts wanted kids to wear ear defenders when popping balloons at parties.
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