Roughly two million workplace injuries are documented each year. Usually, we think of 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 far more insidious and often goes unreported. Over the course of a few years, it will sneak up slowly on people. The injury goes undetected until the symptoms become impossible to dismiss. Excuses are a typical reaction. “It’s just part of aging” or “It’s a short-term issue”. This response is common.
Many individuals don’t even realize it was brought on by their workplace environment.
Hearing damage is this insidious injury. There are several warning signs you should recognize, and there are important steps you need to take if you suspect the damage is already done.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Continual exposure to sounds above 85 decibels (dB) can trigger permanent damage to your hearing. Seventy-five dB, for instance, is the average volume of a vacuum. A lawnmower produces 85 dB. A leaf blower or chainsaw creates over 100 dB. A gunshot is around 140 dB.
How noisy is your workplace? Are you being exposed to the most common workplace injury? If you’re regularly exposed to something as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not constant, your hearing is likely to become damaged over time.
Symptoms of Hearing Injury
You’re absolutely harming your hearing if you work in a loud environment without hearing protection.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following signs:
- You think people speaking to you are constantly mumbling.
- You regularly ask people to repeat themselves when they talk.
- You hear ringing, hissing, or whistling when it should be quiet.
- You tend to disengage when others are talking.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- You confuse consonants – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- Your friends and family tell you your TV, radio, or computer tablet volume is too loud.
- You experience pain when you hear loud noises.
How is Hearing Damage Being Dealt With by Employers?
Businesses and organizations are utilizing the latest technology to decrease workplace noise in excessively loud environments. Workplace noise will be lessened as new guidelines are being put in place by governments to protect workers.
Employees are coming forward as they become aware of the long-term damage that workplace noise is causing. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Additional Damage
Protecting your ears before they are damaged is the smartest plan if you work in a loud setting. Potential damage will be minimized by using protective earmuffs or earplugs.
If you believe your hearing has been damaged by a noisy workplace, schedule a hearing test as soon as you can. You will discover how to prevent additional damage when you find out how much hearing damage you’re dealing with. We address any hearing damage you already have and formulate strategies to help you counter any further damage.