Around two million workplace injuries are reported each year. When you think of on-the-job injuries, you might think of flying projectiles or a hand pulled into a piece of machinery at a factory.
But the most common workplace injury is much more pernicious and frequently goes unreported. It sneaks up on people very slowly over the course of several years. The majority of individuals don’t even detect it’s happening until it becomes severe. Excuses are a typical reaction. “It’s just part of aging” or “It’s a short-term issue”. This response is common.
And it’s unusual for people to even realize that their workplace is to blame for this injury.
Hearing damage is this insidious injury. There are some significant steps you should take if you notice any of the numerous warning signs.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Regular exposure to sounds above 85 decibels (dB) can result in long-term damage to your hearing. Seventy-five dB, for instance, is the average volume of a vacuum. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. A chainsaw or leaf blower creates over 100 dB. A gunshot is around 140 dB.
How noisy is your workplace? Are you being exposed to the most prevalent workplace injury? If you’re regularly exposed to noise as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not constant, your hearing can become damaged over time.
Signs of Hearing Damage
If you work in a noisy environment, there’s no question you’re harming your hearing.
The following is are early warning signs that you’re experiencing hearing loss:
- You often ask people to repeat themselves.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- People are always complaining about the loud volume of your media devices.
- You tend to withdraw when people are talking.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- When you speak with people you always think they are mumbling
- You confuse consonants – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- You hear ringing, hissing, or whistling when it should be quiet.
- You feel pain when you hear loud sounds.
How is Hearing Damage Being Addressed by Employers?
Businesses and organizations are using the latest technology to lessen workplace noise in overly loud environments. Workplace noise will be minimized as new recommendations are being put in place by governments to safeguard workers.
Employees are speaking out as they become mindful of the long-term damage that workplace noise is causing. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Further Damage
Safeguarding your ears before they become damaged is the smartest plan if you work in a loud setting. Wearing protective earmuffs or earplugs on the job will help reduce potential damage.
Make an appointment for a hearing examination as soon as possible if you believe a noisy workplace has caused injury to your hearing. When you determine the degree of your hearing loss, you will find out how to prevent further damage going forward. We address any hearing damage you already have and formulate strategies to help you counter any additional damage.