by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition, and Jamie Banks, PhD, MS, Program Director, The Quiet Coalition
It is well known that leading commercial leaf blowers produce deafening noise levels of 100 dB or more at the ear of the operator and that the low frequency sound and vibration affect overall health. These, coupled with toxic and carcinogenic exhaust, put workers at risk for problems ranging from hearing damage, to irreversible neurological damage, heart disease, and cancer. Nevertheless, many workers do not wear protective gear and may not be aware of the risks they face.
Workers compensation law, a subset of tort law, allows injured workers to sue for medical care and compensation.
In this post at Lawyers.com, attorney Brian Allan Wall from McCann and Wall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, reviews the hazards of gas leaf blower use. His piece shows that the legal community is aware that leaf blower noise can damage hearing and non-hearing health. If state and federal regulators won’t regulate leaf blower noise, maybe a series of workers comp lawsuits will force land care companies to either use battery electric blowers, reduce the use of gas blowers, or force manufacturers to make quieter machines.