Each year, roughly 2 million workplace injuries are reported. When you think of 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 much more pernicious and often goes unreported. Over several years, it will sneak up slowly on people. The majority of people don’t even detect it’s happening until it becomes severe. People often make excuses. “It’s just part of aging” or “It’s a short-term problem”. This isn’t unusual.
And it’s unusual for people to even recognize that their workplace is to blame for this injury.
The insidious injury is hearing damage. There are some significant steps you should take if you recognize any of the numerous warning signs.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Regular exposure to sounds above 85 decibels (dB) can trigger permanent damage to your hearing. Seventy-five dB, for example, is the average volume of a vacuum. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. A leaf blower or chainsaw generates more than 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot logs in at 140 dB.
Are you at risk when you’re at work? Are you being exposed to the most common 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 constant.
Hearing Damage Signs
You’re definitely harming your hearing if you work in a loud environment without hearing protection.
The following is are early warning signs that you’re experiencing hearing loss:
- Conversations sound muffled.
- Loud sounds cause pain in your ears.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for example.
- You’re hearing noises in your ears like ringing, whistling, or hissing.
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves when they speak.
- When you talk with people you constantly think they are mumbling
- You tend to disengage when others are talking.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background noise.
- Your family and friends tell you your TV, radio, or computer tablet volume is too loud.
How is Hearing Damage Being Tackled by Employers?
In environments that are really loud, technology is being put to use by organizations and businesses, to reduce workplace noise. Government agencies are endeavoring to update recommendations that will reduce workplace noise and protect employees.
As more employees become aware of the recurring damage they have endured as a result of workplace noise, they are coming forward. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Additional Damage
If you work in a loud environment, the best thing you can do is protect your ears before any damage occurs. Potential damage will be reduced by wearing protective earmuffs or earplugs.
Make an appointment for a hearing test as soon as possible if you suspect a noisy workplace has caused injury to your hearing. When you ascertain the degree of your hearing loss, you will learn how to counter further damage going forward. We address any hearing damage you’re already experiencing and formulate strategies to help you counter any further damage.