Approximately two million workplace injuries are documented each year. Normally, we think about a hand caught in a piece of machinery or a flying projectile when we consider work-related injuries.
But there is a much more pernicious on-the-job injury that is even more common and often overlooked. Over the course of several years, it will sneak up slowly on people. The majority of people don’t even recognize it’s happening until it becomes significant. Excuses are a typical reaction. “It will go away” or “I’m just getting older. This response is normal.
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 important steps you should take if you recognize any of the numerous warning signs.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Your hearing can be permanently damaged with prolonged exposure to as little as 85 decibels (dB) over a long period. Seventy-five dB, for example, is the average volume of a vacuum cleaner. A lawnmower produces 85 dB. If you’re exposed to a chainsaw or leaf blower you’re experiencing 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot comes in at 140 dB.
How noisy is your workplace? Is the most common workplace injury a problem for you? Over time, your hearing is likely to be damaged if you are regularly exposed to sound as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous.
Signs of Hearing Injury
If you work in a noisy environment, there’s no doubt you’re harming your hearing.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- You’re hearing noises in your ears like ringing, hissing, or whistling.
- You tend to withdraw when others are talking.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- People are always complaining about the loud volume of your media devices.
- When you talk with people you constantly think they are mumbling
- You feel pain when you hear loud sounds.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for example.
- You often ask people to repeat themselves.
How is Hearing Damage Being Addressed by Employers?
Businesses and organizations are utilizing the latest technology to decrease workplace noise in excessively loud environments. Workplace noise will be decreased as new recommendations are being put in place by governments to safeguard workers.
As more employees become aware of the recurring damage they have endured due to workplace noise, they are speaking out. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Additional Damage
Safeguarding your ears before they become damaged is the best plan if you work in a loud environment. Wearing protective headphones or earplugs on the job will help minimize potential damage.
Schedule an appointment for a hearing examination right away if you think a noisy workplace has caused injury to your hearing. You will discover how to prevent additional damage when you determine how much hearing damage you have. We address any hearing damage you’re already experiencing and formulate strategies to help you prevent any further damage.