Roughly two million workplace injuries are documented every year. When you think about on-the-job injuries, you might think of flying objects or a hand pulled into a piece of machinery at a factory.
But the most prevalent workplace injury is a lot more pernicious and commonly goes unreported. Over a few years, it will sneak up gradually on people. The majority of people don’t even detect it’s happening until it becomes severe. People typically make excuses. “It’s just part of growing older” or “It’s not a permanent problem”. This is normal.
Many individuals don’t even realize it was related to their workplace environment.
Damaged hearing is this insidious injury. There are some important 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 louder than 85 decibels (dB) can trigger permanent damage to your hearing. For reference, a vacuum runs at about 75 decibels dB. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. A leaf blower or chainsaw produces more than 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot comes in at 140 dB.
Are you at risk when you’re at work? Is the most common workplace injury an issue 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.
Hearing Damage Signs
You’re definitely damaging your hearing if you work in a loud environment without hearing protection.
What follows are early warning signs that you’re experiencing hearing loss:
- When people speak, you tend withdraw.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background noise.
- You confuse consonants – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- When you talk with people you always believe they are mumbling
- You hear ringing, whistling, or hissing when it should be quiet.
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves when they talk.
- You experience pain when you hear loud sounds.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- People are always complaining about the high volume of your media devices.
What Are Employers Doing to Reduce Hearing Damage?
In settings that are really loud, technology is being used by organizations and businesses, to reduce workplace noise. Workplace noise will be minimized as new recommendations are being put in place by governments to protect workers.
Employees are speaking out as they become aware of the long-term damage that workplace noise is causing. In time, their voices will bring about further change.
Preventing Additional Damage
If you work in a loud environment, the smartest thing you can do is protect your ears before any damage is done. Wearing protective headphones or earplugs on the job will help minimize potential damage.
If you suspect your hearing has been injured by a noisy workplace, make an appointment for a hearing exam as soon as you can. You will discover how to avoid added damage when you find out how much hearing damage you have. We address any hearing damage you’re already experiencing and formulate strategies to help you avoid any additional damage.