Every year, about 2 million workplace injuries are documented. When you think about on-the-job injuries, you may think of flying objects or a hand pulled into a piece of machinery at a factory.
But there is a far more pernicious on-the-job injury that is even more common and frequently undetected. It sneaks up on people extremely gradually over several years. The majority of individuals don’t even detect it’s occurring until it becomes significant. Excuses are a normal reaction. “It’s just part of growing older” or “It’s a short-term issue”. This response is normal.
And it’s unusual for people to even acknowledge that their workplace is responsible for this injury.
The insidious injury is damaged hearing. There are some essential steps you should take if you detect any of the numerous warning signs.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Continual exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) can result in long-term damage to your hearing. Seventy-five dB, for example, is the average volume of a vacuum. A lawnmower produces 85 dB. A leaf blower or chainsaw produces over 100 dB. A gunshot is around 140 dB.
How noisy is your workplace? Is the most common workplace injury a problem for you? Over time, your hearing can be damaged if you’re regularly exposed to sound as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not constant.
Hearing Injury Signs
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 signs:
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background noise.
- You’re hearing sounds in your ears like ringing, whistling, or hissing.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- Loud sounds cause pain in your ears.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- Your friends and family tell you your television, radio, or computer tablet volume is too loud.
- When you talk with people you always believe they are mumbling
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves when they talk.
- You tend to withdraw when others are talking.
How is Hearing Damage Being Dealt With by Employers?
Businesses and organizations are using the latest technology to lessen workplace noise in excessively loud settings. Workplace noise will be minimized 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 as a consequence of workplace noise, they are speaking out. Over time, their voices will lead to further change.
Preventing Further Damage
Safeguarding your ears before they are damaged is the smartest plan if you work in a loud setting. Wearing protective headphones or earplugs while at work will help minimize potential damage.
If you believe your hearing has been injured by a noisy workplace, make an appointment for a hearing exam as soon as possible. You will discover how to counter additional damage when you determine how much hearing damage you have. We can help you formulate strategies to avoid further hearing loss and deal with the damage you’ve already experienced.