Fraser-Cascade School Board votes to invest in protecting the future of its students’ hearing

Decibel monitors to be installed in secondary schools’ machine shops as a visual guide

Education shouldn’t come at the cost of hearing loss, which is why the Fraser-Cascade School Board (SD 78) is investing in the protection of its sudents’ ears.

At their meeting on Tuesday, Mar. 5, the Board passed a motion that would allow for the purchase and installation of digital decibel meters in the metal shops throughout the district.

“We went on a tour of all the schools and all the rooms, and when we went into the workshop, I noticed it was quite loud and … some of the students were not using ear muffs,” said Trustee Tom Hendrickson, who brought forward the motion.

“Our school district has safety plugs and ear muffs for all students and teachers, but sometimes people take things for granted,” continued Hendrickson. “So what the Board has come up with is decibel meters (as) a visual guide.”

An example of the monitors to be installed in School District 78’s secondary schools. (Aeromic Microphones Australia Pty Ltd)

Based on the international go, prepare, stop colours, the meters light up the green if ear protection isn’t needed , yellow if protection is suggested, and red if protection is a must.

The decibel limit “accepted by Workers Comp is 80 to 85,” Hendrickson explained. “Vacuuming at home is 90, (which means) if you vacuumed all day, you’d have to wear earplugs or you’d gradually lose your hearing.”

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is caused by overexposure to loud sounds. The inner ear hairs that facilitate the travel of sound are like blades of grass on a field, said Hendrickson during the meeting. If you walk on them once or twice, they’ll be pushed down but will come back. But if you walk on them everyday, eventually they won’t bounce back.

“Hearing loss doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years to lose your hearing,” said Hendrickson. “So it’s our responsibility to ensure the children have all the protection that’s needed because young ears can really be affected by noise and noise pollution.

“By putting in these decibel meters, (the students) can actually see a visual, (which) will only be a positive for our students. It’s all about being safe. We’re not trying to micromanage, but it’s an aid to help the instructors protect the students.

“So when the children see those lights flashing, they’ll know they need to put on their hearing protection” even if the teacher isn’t there to tell them.

Currently, it’s just the secondary school shops that are going to have the sound monitors installed, but Hendrickson says placement “could evolve further” into the schools.

“Our intent was to put one in (each of) the metal shops in the district as a start,” said Doug Templeton, SD 78’s director of facilities. “Three in total (are) to be installed as soon as they arrive, (which) we would estimate to be right after spring break.”


 

@SarahGawdin on Twitter
SarahGawdin on Instagram
Sarah.Gawdin@HopeStandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Child falls down Bridal Veil Falls near Chilliwack, crews on scene

An 11-year-old boy fell over the falls about 25 to 30 feet and has suffered a head injury

LETTER: Thank you, OK Tire Agassiz!

Roger Bjaanes of Harrison Hot Springs applauds some great customer service

LETTER: An unforgettable birthday

Grace Storteboom of Agassiz thanks everyone for an amazing birthday

Seabird Island community to recieve $2.1 million for community centre

Provincial, federal funding will contribute to local undertaking

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Four-vehicle collision snarls eastbound highway traffic in Fraser Valley

Collision west of Lickman Road on Highway 1 includes three vehicles plus motorcycle

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read