Motivation Tool #3: Bringing Down the Barriers
A third tool that we can use to motivate workers is simply to remove barriers to using their hearing protection.
Some workers will have a handful of excuses for not using hearing protectors: I can’t hear my radio, it’s not comfortable, they make my ears itch, I keep losing my ear plugs, I don’t want to stick anything dirty in my ear, etc.
Make sure that workers have hearing protectors easily available (having a dispenser on site means the workes don’t have to walk back to their tool box or the tool crib to ask for more ear plugs or ear muffs).
Make sure that hearing protectors are comfortable to use, to wear-long-term, and easy to insert. Most of all, offer a variety of different models that are adequate for your noise environment, so that if a worker doesn’t like one type, they can easily switch to a different style.
An employer who only offers one or two types of ear plugs inadvertently prevents a large proportion of workers from obtaining an adequate fit, due to individual differences and preferences.
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