Approximately two million workplace injuries are documented every year. Typically, we think about a hand caught in a piece of machinery or a flying projectile when we consider work-related injuries.
But the most prevalent workplace injury is much more insidious and often goes unreported. Over several years, it will sneak up slowly on people. The injury goes unnoticed until the effects become impossible to dismiss. People often make excuses. “It’s just part of aging” or “It’s not a permanent problem”. This is normal.
And it’s unusual for people to even realize that their workplace is the cause of this injury.
Hearing damage is this insidious injury. There are a number of warning signs you should identify, and there are important steps you need to take if you believe the damage is already done.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Regular exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) can trigger long-term damage to your hearing. For reference, a vacuum cleaner runs at around 75 decibels dB. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. A leaf blower or chainsaw generates more than 100 dB. A gunshot is about 140 dB.
Are you at risk when you’re at work? Are you being exposed to the most prevalent workplace injury? If you’re frequently exposed to something as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous, your hearing is likely to become damaged over time.
Hearing Damage Signs
If you work in a noisy environment, there’s no question you’re harming your hearing.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following signs:
- You’re hearing noises in your ears like ringing, hissing, or whistling.
- You suspect people speaking to you are constantly mumbling.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You regularly ask people to repeat what they said.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background noise.
- You feel pain when you hear loud noises.
- You tend to disengage when people are talking.
- You confuse consonants – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- Your family and friends tell you your TV, radio, or computer tablet volume is too loud.
How is Hearing Damage Being Tackled by Employers?
In environments that are really loud, technology is being put to use by organizations and businesses, to reduce workplace noise. Government agencies are endeavoring to update guidelines that will minimize workplace noise and protect employees.
As more employees become aware of the recurring damage they have suffered as a result of workplace noise, they are coming forward. Over time, their voices will bring about further change.
Preventing Further Damage
If you work in a noisy environment, the smartest thing you can do is safeguard your ears before any damage takes place. Potential damage will be reduced by using protective earmuffs or earplugs.
Make an appointment for a hearing examination right away if you think a noisy workplace has caused injury to your hearing. When you ascertain the extent of your hearing loss, you will find out how to prevent further damage going forward. We address any hearing damage you’re already experiencing and develop strategies to help you prevent any additional damage.