Submitted by Steve Winicker.
LAST WEEKENDS SHOP ACTIVITY
Last week we successfully complete the Steam in the Valley trips. All went well with no issues with either the engine, crew or venue. A small party of folks shut down the engine Sunday evening. The process was completed around 10 PM. Followed by a long drive home. Since no accidents were reported and I have had recent communications from most I believe all arrived at their starting points in one piece.
Nothing is planned for the weekend other than shop clean up. I will not be out Friday due to a pressing amount of backed up projects both for the Society, Work and home. I do plan to be out Saturday and believe there will be some work done on the SD9. The Pumpkin Train is coming up the following weekend, so some shop straightening would be in order. I also am looking for the washout nozzle that fits on the end of 1.5-inch fire hose. At least a few of us will be heading back to CVSR a week from Saturday. The plan is to do a general wash of the engine boiler before getting it ready to fire up on Sunday.
Remember the saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?” This is really the case with your hearing. Exposure to loud noise and failure to wear hearing protection can make you lose your hearing before you know it. Sometimes the noise may be intermittent in nature so one may not continuously wear there hearing protection and thus be exposed to intermittent high, and potentially damaging, noise levels without protection. A good example in railroad yard operations could be the car retarders associated withe humping operations especially if sound control measures, such as surrounding acoustical walls, were not in place.
Hearing loss occurs so gradually, you may not realize it’s happening. You may not be aware until it’s too late. Having to say ‘pardon me’ frequently in order to have a party repeat what they said or having difficulty understanding a women’s conversation, which is frequently higher in pitch than a man’s, is a good indication that hearing loss has occurred. Physiologically, loud noise severely damages the inner ear. The damaging potential of noise depends on the length of exposure and the sound pressure level.
Although you may have the earplugs in place, are they really “in”? Make sure you’re getting the full protection from your ear plugs by rolling the plug up between your fingers, pulling back your ear and inserting them completely in the ear canal and holding the plugs in place until they are fully expanded.
Always keep your hearing protection on your person when working so that in the instances where the noise is intermittent that you are at all times prepared to protect your hearing.