About two million workplace injuries are reported each year. Normally, we think of 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 prevalent and often overlooked. It sneaks up on people really gradually over 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 growing older” or “It’s a temporary problem”. This isn’t unusual.
Many individuals don’t even realize it was brought on by their workplace environment.
Damaged hearing is this insidious injury. There are a number of warning signs you should identify, and there are essential steps you need to take if you think the damage is already done.
How Loud is Too Loud?
Your hearing can be irreversibly 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 leaf blower or a chainsaw you’re experiencing 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot logs in at 140 dB.
Are you at risk when in your work environment? Are you being exposed to the most common workplace injury? If you’re regularly exposed to noise as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous, your hearing is likely to become damaged over time.
Hearing Injury Signs
If you work in a noisy environment, there’s no question you’re damaging your hearing.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background noise.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for example.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- People are always complaining about the loud volume of your media devices.
- You experience pain when you hear loud noises.
- You’re hearing sounds in your ears like ringing, whistling, or hissing.
- When you speak with people you constantly think they are mumbling
- You regularly ask people to repeat themselves.
- When people speak, you tend disengage.
How is Hearing Damage Being Tackled by Employers?
In environments that are really loud, technology is being put to use by businesses or organizations to reduce workplace noise. Workplace noise will be lessened 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 Further Damage
Safeguarding your ears before they become damaged is the best plan if you work in a loud setting. Using protective earmuffs or earplugs on the job will help decrease potential damage.
Make an appointment for a hearing exam as soon as possible if you believe a noisy workplace has caused damage to your hearing. You will discover how to counter added 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 avoid any further damage.