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 caught in a piece of machinery at a factory.
But the most common workplace injury is a lot more pernicious and frequently goes unreported. Over several years, it will sneak up gradually on people. The injury goes undetected until the effects become impossible to dismiss. People often make excuses. “It’s just part of growing older” or “It’s a short-term problem”. This response is normal.
Many individuals don’t even realize it was brought on by their workplace environment.
The insidious injury is hearing damage. There are several warning signs you should recognize, and there are essential steps you need to take if you suspect the damage is already done.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Your hearing can be irreversibly damaged with regular 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 generates 85 dB. If you’re exposed to a chainsaw or leaf blower you’re dealing with 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? Over time, your hearing can be damaged if you are regularly exposed to sound as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous.
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.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- You confuse consonants – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- When you speak with people you always think they are mumbling
- You regularly ask people to repeat themselves when they speak.
- When people speak, you tend disengage.
- People are always complaining about the high volume of your media devices.
- You feel pain when you hear loud noises.
How is Hearing Damage Being Addressed by Employers?
Businesses and organizations are working with the most recent technology to reduce workplace noise in overly loud settings. Government agencies are endeavoring to modify recommendations that will reduce workplace noise and protect employees.
Employees are speaking out as they become aware of the chronic damage that workplace noise is causing. With time, their voices will result in further change.
Preventing Additional Damage
Protecting your ears before they are damaged is the smartest plan if you work in a loud environment. Potential damage will be reduced by wearing protective earmuffs or earplugs.
Schedule an appointment for a hearing test right away if you believe a noisy workplace has caused injury to your hearing. When you ascertain the extent of your hearing loss, you will find out how to avoid further damage going forward. We can help you formulate strategies to avoid additional hearing loss and address the damage you’ve already experienced.