Specsavers Mackay and Cannonvale audiologist Rebecca Moriarty conducting a hearing test on Andergrove miner Adam MacDonald, 54. Picture: Zizi Averill
Specsavers Mackay and Cannonvale audiologist Rebecca Moriarty conducting a hearing test on Andergrove miner Adam MacDonald, 54. Picture: Zizi Averill

Deafening worksites damaging tradie’s health

ADAM MacDonald used to be able to pick up the faintest crackle of electricity along the telephone lines, but after 10 years in mining he struggles to hear the people around him.

The 54-year-old Bowen Basin miner said in his former job as a Telstra linesman he used his impeccable hearing like a tool.

"I could listen for crackling on the line," Mr MacDonald said.

But after a decade in open cut mining, he said his sharp pair of ears had been dulled.

Mr MacDonald said the open cut mines were an intensely noisy environment, with workers surrounded by towering machines and blaring trucks.

Specsavers Mackay and Cannonvale audiologist Rebecca Moriarty conducting a hearing test on Andergrove miner Adam MacDonald, 54. Picture: Zizi Averill
Specsavers Mackay and Cannonvale audiologist Rebecca Moriarty conducting a hearing test on Andergrove miner Adam MacDonald, 54. Picture: Zizi Averill

Read more:

WATCH: COVID-positive ship crew arrives in Mackay

Reality TV star's donation gives tablets to rural fireys

Green jobs boom to employ 28,505 North QLD workers

"Imagine the noisiest V8 you can find and sit on top of it," he said.

"Hearing protection does work, but there's parts of it you can't beat.

"You don't realise how deaf you are, how bad it is."

The Andergrove resident said his wife realised something was wrong when the television volume was turned all the way up.

Specsavers Mackay and Cannonvale audiologist Rebecca Moriarty said hearing issues often snuck up without people realising.

"You forget about the surrounding conversations that are part of life," Ms Moriarty said.

"It's hard when you used to be so in tune to that because you miss sensations."

Ms Moriarty said due to Mackay's heavy industries, hearing loss was common even among young workers.

Specsavers Mackay and Cannonvale audiologist Rebecca Moriarty conducting a hearing test on Andergrove miner Adam MacDonald, 54. Picture: Zizi Averill
Specsavers Mackay and Cannonvale audiologist Rebecca Moriarty conducting a hearing test on Andergrove miner Adam MacDonald, 54. Picture: Zizi Averill

"If you have to have to raise you voice to talk to someone one metre away from you it's dangerous," Ms Moriarty said.

Despite the risk, Mr MacDonald said between 10 to 20 per cent of his colleagues did not wear hearing protection on site.

As part of Tradies National Health Month, Ms Moriarty encouraged more tradies to wear safety equipment, check in with their ears and book a regular hearing appointment.

Cartoonist Harry Bruce suggests Australian politicians like Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton could use a tone deafness hearing test.
Cartoonist Harry Bruce suggests Australian politicians like Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton could use a tone deafness hearing test. Harry Bruce

1025 BHP apprentice, traineeship spots available in CQ

Premium Content 1025 BHP apprentice, traineeship spots available in CQ

$800m skills and training package set create thousands of new jobs across...

Qld restrictions scaled back: What it means for you

Premium Content Qld restrictions scaled back: What it means for you

Queensland has taken another step towards normality

Proserpine man strips off clothes, runs in front of cars

Premium Content Proserpine man strips off clothes, runs in front of cars

He admitted to smoking cones before disrupting traffic on the Bruce Highway.