Music to your ears?

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Music to your ears?On 1 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today Employershave a duty to protect staff from harm at work, including loud noises. But whatif that is part and parcel of what they do? A BBC OH manager talks about thedilemma OH faces with its orchestra members, by Susanna Everton The BBC has five orchestras and is probably one of the largest employers oforchestral musicians in Europe. There is a duty of care to protect them frombeing harmed while at work by exposure to loud sounds – but in the case ofmusical noise, that is precisely what they are employed to produce. There liesthe dilemma. In 1989, the Noise at Work Regulations were introduced to give a legaldefinition to the obligations of employers to prevent damage to the hearing ofworkers from excessive noise at work.1 The premise of any control of noise inthe workplace should be that every employer should reduce this risk of damageto the lowest level reasonably practicable. In 2006, the European Directive 2003/10/EC on the minimum health and safetyrequirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising fromPhysical Agents (Noise) will have to be incorporated into UK law.2 The emphasis of the directive is in the prevention of noise exposure throughincorporating measures at the design stage, in the selection of equipment,procedures and work methods and, finally, in individual protection. The exposure level standard will continue to be ISO 1999:1990,3 and thereduction in sound levels before action is required has been reduced by 5dB(see Table 1). Those in the entertainment industry have been given an extratwo-year implementation period in recognition of the difficulties there will bein producing enforceable practices. Excessive noise as a cause of hearing damage has been known for centuries,and was first described as an occupational hazard by Ramazzini in 1713.4 Thefirst UK study of occupational noise-induced hearing loss by Barr was publishedin 1886, but it was only in the 1960s that studies on musicians started to showassociations between their hearing and noise exposure.5 So, what is noise? Noise is often described as unwanted sound, but is that true of music? It isalso subjective – we all hear sound differently, so how can it be measured?Sound is a vibration that sets off a pressure wave formation in the air that,depending on what is around, can be absorbed or bounced back. Sound is measuredin loudness (amplitude) and distance (frequency). Loudness in musical terms: – Pianissimo (ppp) – 40-50 dB spl – Fortissimo (fff) – 90-110 dB spl6 Loudness depends on the conductor, the musicians and the general quality ofthe instruments, the acoustics of the venue, the piece being played, the seatingarrangements of the players and their own perception of what they hear. You areprobably familiar with loud pieces of orchestral music – for instance,Tchaikovsky’s 1812, complete with cannon fire, as well as the quiet pieces suchas Handel’s Water Music – both at opposite ends of the spectrum. What are the consequences? If repeated exposure to noise is experienced, the individual develops a lossof sensitivity to sound at 4 KHz – which shows as a dip in an audiogram. With continued exposure, the loss can spread into neighbouring frequenciesand produce a chronic hearing deficit, which is irreversible. Associatedsymptoms can include tinnitus, a sensation of noise (whistling, ringing,humming) arising in the individual’s head, and hyperacusis, a sensitivity tonoise that can cause an individual to feel pain. It is also an industrialdisease entitling the individual to disablement benefit.7 So how do we demonstrate the management of the risk of hearing damage fromexposure to noise in orchestral musicians? One of the roles of OH is to assist management in identifying potentialcauses of ill-health arising from work and advising on control measures toprevent new cases from occurring, as well as monitoring the ill health effectsof work activity in an employee (or worker). This can be done by adopting aplanned approach – the who, when, where, how process. – Who is at risk? All sorts of people may be affected by noise, butit depends for how long, what the levels are and how frequent the exposure is –musicians, conductors, performers, vocalists, audio engineers, lightingtechnicians, orchestra managers, roadies, venue staff, and the audience are allaffected. There is no specific legislation that sets limits for audience exposure tonoise. However, the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 andcivil law duties place a responsibility on protecting audiences and levels notexceeding 107 dB(A) should be set.8 Finally, consider the risks for anyone visiting the site who may not be preparedfor the activity within. – When are they at risk? During practice, rehearsal and performance;when commuting in cars or trains; when exposed outside work in teaching,gardening or DIY; during sporting activities or when visiting the theatre orcinema. Hearing loss is a cumulative condition. – Where are the risks? Most members of an orchestra are likely to besubjected to noise levels at or above the first action level 85dB (A), or evensecond action level 90 dB (A) over an eight-hour working day or 140 dB (A)peak. My own dosimetry of musicians within our orchestras has revealed levels of94 dB (A) in the brass and woodwind sections during certain pieces. These situations may arise from their own instrument, other players inadjacent areas or the piece they are playing; whether there is a public addresssystem in use or amplification; whether they are in a large auditorium orrecording studio. Small theatre pits, where players are packed in tight under a low ceiling,require them to play louder to get the sound out, which increases their noiseexposure risk. – How to control risks? We need information on the hazard and thiscan be achieved through collecting data of the sound levels. Then by using arisk assessment process, we can review the activity. – Conduct a noise assessment – Is there a noise hazard? – Who is exposed? – Evaluate risks from hazard – Record the findings – Create a noise action plan – Review, and revise – Look at the work schedule for the individual/group – Start a health surveillance programme for those at risk – Look at ways of reducing their exposure – Hold education sessions and seminars on hearing health and protection – Provide and fit suitable personal protective equipment designed formusicians – Monitor compliance – Audit. In noise reduction for orchestras, it would be unacceptable to remove thesource of the noise or substitute it. Audiences would not welcome being enclosed, but it is possible to reduce exposurethrough alterations in heights of stages and platforms; increasing the distancebetween players; using baffle screens and acoustic absorbent materials infurnishings; monitoring the time and level of exposure; restricting theschedules of players in rehearsal, performance and practice with rests inbetween; reducing extra-curricular exposure to music and other high soundlevels; and reviewing the repertoire. Health surveillance is a method that should be used by managers to fulfiltheir responsibilities where a member of staff is exposed to a hazard that maycause harm. There are valid, reasonable techniques to detect early signs ofharm, and early detection of harm can benefit the individual. In a case of noise exposure, the health surveillance procedure should becarried out by a competent occupational health nurse (OHN). Tests shouldinclude a hearing questionnaire with relevant medical, hearing and occupationalhistory, examination of both ears and an audiometric test from 500 Hz to 8,000Hz. Palin suggests that a detailed history of ear pathology, family history,noise exposure, occupational history and leisure activities is invaluable in aproper assessment of an individual’s hearing health.9 It is vitally important for the employer, the individual and for thevalidity of the results that a standardised test procedure is in place. Theremay be legal liability based on a hearing test result, which therefore needs tobe accurate and valid. Guidance for conducting audiometric testing is availablefrom the HSE.10 Personal protective equipment is difficult for musicians, as they have to beable to hear themselves and their colleagues when playing. Industrial hearingprotection is not appropriate, so much work has been done on achieving a plugthat can reduce the damaging sound frequencies but still allow the musician tohear clearly. There are now plugs on the market that are differently attenuated to suitthe needs of violinists through to percussionists, based on the Elmer Carlsonplug, commonly known as the ER Range.11 However, many ‘blowing’ musicianscannot blow with ear plugs in the canals. It may be that musicians can bepersuaded to use hearing protection in all noisy activities except for theactual performance, and thus reduce their exposure. Musicians can be exposed to very loud sound levels that increase their riskof developing an irreversible noise-induced hearing loss or associatedsymptoms, but the employer has a legal duty to prevent this and needs todemonstrate its assessment of risk, control measures and its methods ofmonitoring the situation. Musicians have a legal duty to comply with thesemeasures. Orchestras will continue to play loud music and audiences will still want toattend concerts where loud music is played. Our duty is to make this happen ina healthy and safe way. References 1. Reducing noise at work. Guidance on the Noise at Work Regulations – HSE,1989, L108,HSE Books 2. Directive 2003/10/EEC of the European Parliament and of the Council –Official Journal of European Union, 15.02.2003, L 42 /38-44 3. Acoustics – determination of noise exposure and estimation ofnoise-induced hearing impairment – International Organization forStandardization, Geneva Switzerland, ISO 1999 (1990) 4. Noise – Bell A, 1966, WHO Geneva, Switzerland 5. Hearing in classical musicians – Axelsson A and Lundgren F, 1981,Acta-Oto-Laryngologica supp 377 3-74 6. Musicians and the prevention of hearing loss – Chasin M, 1996, SingularPublishing,San Diego 7. Ill or disabled because of a disease or deafness caused by work – SD6,2001, Benefits Agency, Leeds, DWP Communications 8. The Event Safety Guide – HSE, 2001, HSG195 Sudbury, HSE Books 9. Does classical music damage the hearing of musicians? A review of theliterature – Palin S, 1994, Occupational Medicine 44:130-136 10. MS26 – A guide to audiometric testing programmes – HSE, 1998, SudburyHSE Books 11. Improved audibility earplug – Killon MC et al, 1992, US Patent 5 113,967in Chasin (1996) Susanna Everton RGN OHN MSc MIOSH, manager divisional support, BBCoccupational health, safety and security, [email protected] more information– Reducing Noise at Work, HSE Books,1998, ISBN 07 17615111– Noise at Work – guidance on regulations, HMSO, 1989, ISBN 011 885512 3– Health Surveillance in Noisy Industries, HSE books, 1995,ISBN 0 7176 09332– Sound Solutions, HSE books, 1995,ISBN 0 7176 07917– HSE website www.hse.gov.uk– RNID publications, PO Box 16464, London EC1Y 8TT– A Sound Ear, Alison Wright Reid, ABO, 2001, ISBN9536789 3 8 Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

‘She took advantage of every day’: Friends, Notre Dame community members remember Valeria Espinel

first_imgTo Valeria Espinel’s friends, it seemed like she had an unlimited amount of time. That she could do everything productive for school and more and still have time to be there for her friends. Almost like she was working with an extra few hours more than anyone else.People say freshman year of college is hard. That it’s hard to find a balance between meeting new friends, doing school work and adjusting to a new environment — adding in a pandemic can’t make it any easier.  Courtesy of Lorena Colon Valeria Espinel celebrated her birthday on campus with a gathering planned by her best friend Olivia Laura Rojas.But somehow it seemed as if Valeria found the time to “meet everyone” in the Latino community within just two months of starting college, get ahead in school and plan for internships as just a freshman. Her friends say she made more friends than they ever thought possible in two months.A native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, Valeria lived in Badin Hall until she was killed in a car accident in October, along with her best friend Olivia Laura Rojas.According to Badin Hall rector Sr. Susan Sisko, Valeria always “bounced down the hallways.”Valeria’s Badin Hall resident assistant, Grace Kaiser, said she “had an effortless confidence and liveliness” that anyone could sense after meeting her.“Val used to give me and everyone in our section these sweets called Dulces de Leche that she brought for us from Ecuador. She would leave a whole stack of them in the candy bowl outside of my room for all to share. Before the campus-wide prayer service, we as a Badin community had a short service for Valeria at the Grotto. Pretty much our entire dorm community and even some off-campus Bullfrogs showed up, which I think is a testament to how loved Valeria is and how much she will be missed,” Kaiser said in an email.Through Zoom calls, GroupMe messages and Facebook groups, Valeria made friends with fellow first years as soon as she could. Many of her friends she hung out with every day throughout the semester she made before stepping foot onto Notre Dame’s campus in the fall. Courtesy of Carlos Fabrega Valeria, left, and Olivia.Once she got to campus, Valeria and her friends she’d met in the Notre Dame Latino community would hang out every day.“We studied a lot together and [did] basically everything [together],” first-year Augusto Simons said. “We were always together with her. She was very close to all of us. She was a great friend. … She had a lot of friends.”Although her friends said the Latino community at Notre Dame is a very welcoming one, they noted Valeria had a special ability to make friends quicker than anyone else.First-year Nico Lopez counts Valeria as his first friend at Notre Dame.“She was friends with everyone. I mean, it’s kind of impressive,” Lopez said. “I was a little bit jealous because she would become best friends with everybody. … Every single day I would meet another person who would say, ‘Oh, yeah, you’re friends with Valeria.’”According to her friends, Valeria put as much work as she did making friends into school as well.“You can define her, basically, as a work hard, play hard type of person. She was always in every plan she could go to, and she would always seek out to hang out with people and to meet new people and to build new friendships,” Simons said. “But she was also extremely responsible with school. She was always on top of every class, she would help us with our classes we were having trouble with, she was very responsible with all her homework. She was like the perfect student, basically, because she was a very all-around person.”With that seemingly unlimited resource of time, Valeria pushed everyone around her to be better.“She was one of the most well-rounded people I’ve ever known. It was like she had an unlimited resource or resource of time, … like she had so much time, but she had the same time as us. She got so much done in the same time as we did. And she helped us catch that pace and become better versions of ourselves,” Lopez said. First-year Lorena Colon, who became friends with Valeria before they arrived on campus, echoed Lopez’s sentiments.“She just made everyone feel good. And she would never bring anyone down. She really cared about all her friends, and finding that balance between studies and having fun. I think she didn’t want to sacrifice like one for the other,” Colon, her roommate, added. “She would always push you to be a better version of yourself.”One of her friends, first-year Juan Alvaro, remembers when Valeria would go out of her way to remind him to do his work.“Something really special she used to do for me is that I’m very prone to falling behind in classes, especially Moreau. So after she found out [that] I started to fall behind in Moreau for the second time, she would always remind me even though her Moreau wasn’t the same day as mine,” he said. “She would always text me Monday nights and be like, ‘Hey, do your Moreau.’”Valeria met her best friend Olivia prior to arriving at Notre Dame, and by all accounts, they were inseparable.“They were always together,” Simons said. “It was very common to hear in the sentence, ‘Valeria and Olivia.’ They came together, basically. Like they were always together.”“Every single picture, it was Valeria and Olivia. Everything they did, they did together. It was very impressive for us how they became so close through Zoom and how they really made such a strong friendship,” Lopez added.Many of Valeria’s Notre Dame friends were able to meet her friends and family from home in Ecuador through video chats, and Valeria remained extremely close with her parents and three younger brothers while at school.“I think we could all agree that she brought up part of Ecuador with her, and we all got to live a little bit of it through her,” Alvaro said.After Valeria’s death, friends from Ecuador wrote and sang an original song for her called “Little Miss Perfect” that now has over 8,000 views in an Instagram post. The song professes Valeria “always cared for everyone else,” and she “never let life bring [her] down, those were the things she lived by.”According to the song, Valeria was called “little miss perfect” growing up.Although she only was enrolled at Notre Dame for a short time, Valeria made it clear to her friends that she loved Notre Dame.“I remember that she talked to me about her decision making, and she was accepted into a large number of selective institutions. But she never flinched about choosing Notre Dame because she felt like it was going to be the place where she will not only become a better student, which she already was, but she would become a better person,” Lopez said. “I think that she was striving more to become a better person more than a better student because she was already an amazing student. She was pushing her academics even farther. But Notre Dame does a very good job of forming you as a person. And I think that she really felt connected to that.”Her friends remember her as always taking advantage of every opportunity in life and for her quirks, some of the things that made Valeria, Valeria — an obsession with tuna, her baking business she began in quarantine and being a self-admitted easy crier are just a few. But above all, they remember Valeria as being so happy with the life she’d made for herself in the Notre Dame community.“She was the happiest here that she’s been in her life. She was constantly telling us that she was very happy here and that Notre Dame was everything that she ever wanted and more. And her parents knew that, her friends knew that,” Lopez said. “I think that we all thank the Notre Dame community as a whole for having given Valeria such an amazing place to be, even if it was not for the longest of times.”Following Valeria’s death, her friends found agreement in one specific thing about her life, something they want to emulate going forward in their own lives.“When I was talking about this with our friends,” Colon said. “The one thing we agreed on is that she definitely enjoyed her time here and lived as fully as she could, even though it was a very short amount of time. That’s what we were talking about. We were like, ‘We should try to live as fully as she did.’ Because she really did make the most out of her time here.”Tags: obituary, Olivia Laura Rojas, Valeria Espinellast_img read more

Are you celebrating your member success stories with staff?

first_imgYou often hear that credit unions need to do a better job of telling our unique stories (ie: the CU difference, community outreach, improving members’ financial wellbeing, etc) to members and the community. That’s important, but what about telling the same stories to credit union staff? It’s often overlooked and can make a big difference. Let me explain.I recently “interned” at my credit union in many different business areas, but the most interesting was sitting in the call center. I sat with headphones on and listened to members calling with every question imaginable. I was in awe watching staff have about 30+ windows open on the computer, talking to members, copying and pasting, searching and doing all kinds of credit union wizardry to answer questions and solve issues.The last call I heard was the best. I have to keep things vague as to not betray confidentiality, but a member was calling to ask about something. She sounded anxious. The awesome staff person I was shadowing, let’s call her Stacey, helped the member along, but piqued my interest when she asked, “I noticed a few things on your account from [local payday lender], were those for emergencies?” The member then opened up about how she’s had a rough time lately, being laid off, some medical emergencies and moving back in with her mother, who also is struggling financially. Stacey asked a few more questions and then said, “I’m sorry to hear that. How often are you stressed about money – monthly, weekly, daily?” The member answered, “All the time. I’m losing sleep it’s so stressful.” continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

England Golf announces partnership with St. James’s Place Wealth Management

first_img England Golf is delighted to announce that St. James’s Place has become its official financial services partner and the two organisations will work together to build a brighter future for golf and its community of club members. The partnership will run until December 2018 and will bring added value to members of golf clubs who will be invited to exclusive golf experience events, hosted by local representatives of St. James’s Place. These events will offer the opportunity to play on local championship courses, introduce members to St. James’s Place, meet fellow members and representatives from England Golf. This new relationship supports England Golf’s strategic plan, Raising Our Game, which aims to build a brighter future for golf with more players, more golf club members and stronger clubs. Craig Wagstaff, England Golf’s Finance Director, said: “I am delighted that we have formed a partnership with one of the country’s leading wealth management companies, bringing real added value to our members. “With St. James’s Place official support of our strategic plan we have taken another step to our goal of building a brighter future for golf and also a successful financial future for our members.” Paul Martin, Head of Marketing from St. James’s Place, commented: “We are delighted to have been invited to be an official partner of England Golf, supporting their strategic vision to recruit more players, increase golf club members and help to build stronger clubs. “Our relationship gives us the opportunity to share our experience and financial planning services with England Golf members – so that in time, we can form personal relationships with the golfing community to help individual members protect and build brighter financial futures.” Image © Leaderboard Photography 2 Mar 2016 England Golf announces partnership with St. James’s Place Wealth Management last_img read more

Can the Steelers do it again? Be beaten by a winless team?

first_imgCELEBRATION—Antonio Brown celebrates after one of his 7 catches. He was flagged for one of 13 penalties against the Steelers for 125 yards. (AP photo)The Steelers were upset by one of the worst teams in the NFL and hopefully it will not be deja vu when they once again face a winless team this weekend.After playing without a doubt their greatest game of the season against the Carolina Panthers, the Steelers laid an egg against the then winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend.The Bucs under the leadership of new coach Lovie Smith, who took the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl, only to be fired a few years later after a 10-6 season, is in his first season with the Bucs after sitting out a year.The Bucs also had a new quarterback in Mike Glennon who was supposed to be the face of the future but with the injury to the starter he was forced into action and probably will be the starting quarterback from now on.The Steelers defense held the Bucs in check the first half allowing only 64 total yards but the offense was only able to build a 17-10 lead.last_img read more