I read an article about the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and its decision to cut an orchestral piece, "State of Siege" by Dror Feiler, because when played at its intended volume the orchestra was producing a sound that exceeded the new European noise-at-work limit. Apparently, noise-reducing ear-muffs were not an option. At first I thought the regulations silly -- those standards shouldn't apply to art, plus it's a good loud noise, right? But then I thought about the people I know who have damaged hearing -- it's difficult for them to take part in conversations and frustrating to never be able to hear a waiter read off nightly specials at a restaurant because of background chatter. Hearing protection is an important part of work site safety, especially on the construction site. You might think ear plugs and noise-muffling headphones can be uncomfortable, look funny or are just plain annoying, but once your hearing is damaged there no getting it back. Check out the noise and hearing protection webpage at OSHA and make sure you and everyone at your company has their ears covered or plugged.