Is Hearing Protection Legal ?????

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Auctioneer, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    Looks like a VERY good subject was resurrected. This is something important to me. As I have said many times my father was a trucker, had been around trucks going all the way back to his Army days in the early 50s. His hearing was horrible. It is a fact hearing loss is gradual AND once lost can't be got back. I find it interesting when I watch a youtube video of a 60s-70s era rocker today they almost to a person are wearing a hearing aid. During my life, I used hearing protection when in a loud environment, today to be honest my hearing is about the only thing on my body that still works. Those small bones in the inner ear that convert the sound waves into nerve impulses will not last a lifetime if constantly exposed to loud noise of any type. I made a reply in another thread just recently questioning the wisdom of wearing earplugs while asleep in a truck. I still stand by that comment. Since I made that comment I have tried to find an old newspaper article about a trucker that died in a truck fire I believe caused by an improperly installed inverter. Later when the remains were being examined they found the remains of earplugs. As of this writing, I can't find it to link to. This does not mean a driver should not have at a minimum ear muffs etc. I kept them close by for those times I was around loud machinery. As to wearing earplugs while actually driving? I don't think that is wise even in a non-CMV. The ability to hear sounds is an important aspect of being safe. Honestly, why should it take a law or rule to use some basic common sense on this job? If the act of driving is placing your hearing at risk you might should examine your vocation choice!
     
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  3. Hauler_bowler

    Hauler_bowler Light Load Member

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    We're talking slightly muffling noise. Not blocking out entirely. I said The head phones that I used were active noise cancelling ones. But I still could hear people fighting, horns etc, etc.

    I dont listen to music or death metal etc. Mostly podcasts, etc. So I feel someone talking and not loose my mind entirely, out here in the wilderness

    With the right mindset both lawmakers and the industry could introduce safety equipment of other tools which can help in this regard.

    People die in fires while sleeping without hearing protection too.

    Your dad might've lost hearing in Army cuz of all the yelling drill sargeants(hehe bad dad joke I know).
     
  4. Hauler_bowler

    Hauler_bowler Light Load Member

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    On every small thing. The baby boomer generation is like "this career ain't for you". Or "look into something else".

    I respect the tons of experience behind those sentences.

    But they don't realize is tech in these times is always advancing. In fact human beings are catching up to it.

    Since ELDs came out all the baby boomer pensioners are now saying those same sentences to themselves.
    "Man this job ain't for me no more".

    I like ELDs. They make sure no dispatcher can abuse me. I can get decent rest. Make less money compared to cheating logs or runnings two books. But money ain't end all be all.

    Point is some tech wizard somewhere gonna figure out something about hearing protection for truckers. If enough noise is made about it.
     
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  5. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    Yes, I am a late baby boomer. And yes my generation tend to say these things at the drop of a hat. I stand by that comment I made. This can apply to anything about a person also. I can't tell you in my years how many people I have seen the results of their decision making I wish were flipping burgers and NOT driving. They don't have the basic common sense God gave a Donkey! If that offends I am sorry, I stand behind my words.

    Yes, people die all the time from fires. Still does not take away from the REAL danger of blocking off your hearing while asleep. The dangers are not just fires. You might not be able to hear an important alarm going off in or around your truck. Just the thought of wearing earplugs in that environment gives me the creeps.

    My father's hearing was damaged by being around trucks all his life. I am still surprised he got his medical card.

    Technology is not going to solve some aspects of this problem. I do think at some point science will come up with a way to replace those small bones, but the very reason to block hearing is to block hearing. There is no workaround.
     
  6. Hauler_bowler

    Hauler_bowler Light Load Member

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    I was talking muffling/reducing noise.

    Not blocking it.

    I did not discuss the sleep aspect. That and bioimplants are a different debate entirely.
     
  7. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    But, I was! As I stated in post # 32. I wore when appropriate hearing muffs. I think earplugs have a place in the life of a Trucker.


    The question made by the OP was about wearing earplugs while driving. The OP also made a request to see "chapter and verse" of the FMCSA rules if you said it was NOT legal. Without researching my gut instinct is to say there are no rules by the feds that cover this. The thing some truckers fail to understand is they are also bound by state laws when driving in said state. I took a few minutes and took a look for an example of this. In doing so I discovered Ohio 4511.84 that EXPRESSLY prohibited using earplugs! So while there may be NO federal rules for CMVs, it is NOT legal in Ohio and 4511.84 said vehicle period.

    EDITED: In Ohio there is a Motorcycle exception!
     
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  8. dibstr

    dibstr Road Train Member

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    If one is concerned then just wear one ear at a time and change which ear the plug is in daily. Most states that have a law concerning plugs just prohibit their use in both ears. Changes exposure of each ear by 50%. :)
     
  9. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    Your reply and the humor behind it reminded me of something I took notice of while looking around. For the purposes of the laws, I think most states group most anything stuck in the ear as the same. Be it an earplug or an earbud. At least I got that impression.
     
  10. TravR1

    TravR1 Road Train Member

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    My hearing is horrible. I was born with less than half of the average person's hearing.

    I drove with some guys that would sleep with ear plugs in. But personally I would never sleep with my good ear plugged. How would I hear if there's an emergency or someone trying to break into my truck?

    And I certainly wouldn't drive with ear plugs. I had a blow out last Sunday at my tandems. How would I have heard the blow out with ear plugs in?
     
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