When we think of kiln and glass safety, we think of glass cuts,
of burns, of gloves, of eye protection, and of respirators and
masks. But we rarely think of hearing protection.
As it turns out, problems with hearing are one of the most common
kinds of problems the kiln worker can experience. No, it's not
noisy kilns, it's noise from other equipment, especially grinders,
saws, and related cutting and grinding tools.
But how to you know if the tool you're using is too noisy.
A good rule of thumb is that if someone is standing five feet from
you and the two of you have difficulty carrying on a conversation,
you need hearing protection.
In addition, the longer you use a noisy tool at one sitting, the
more likely you are to experience a hearing problem. So if
you're planning to spend an afternoon using your tile saw to cut up
pattern bars or if your sandblasting compressor is getting a
workout, then you'll be grateful if you use hearing protection.
Click here to proceed to
part two of this topic, which discusses specific types of hearing
Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.
All rights reserved.
For more about safety for the
kiln former, visit Greg Rawls's excellent overview of
glass health and safety.