Every year, roughly 2 million workplace injuries are reported. Usually, 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 far more pernicious on-the-job injury that is even more prevalent and often unnoticed. Over a few years, it will sneak up gradually on people. The injury goes undetected until the effects become impossible to disregard. Excuses are a normal reaction. “It will go away” or “I’m just getting older. This is normal.
And it’s unusual for people to even recognize that their workplace is to blame for this injury.
Damaged hearing is this insidious injury. 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”?
Regular exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) can trigger long-term damage to your hearing. For reference, a vacuum runs at around 75 decibels dB. A lawnmower delivers 85 dB. If you’re exposed to a chainsaw or leaf blower you’re dealing with 100 dB. A gunshot is around 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 is likely to be damaged if you’re regularly exposed to sound as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not constant.
Signs of Hearing Injury
You’re definitely damaging your hearing if you work in a loud environment without hearing protection.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following signs:
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for example.
- Your friends and family tell you your television, radio, or computer tablet volume is too loud.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background noise.
- Loud sounds cause pain in your ears.
- You regularly ask people to repeat what they said.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You hear ringing, hissing, or whistling when it should be quiet.
- When people speak, you tend disengage.
- You think people speaking to you are constantly mumbling.
How is Hearing Damage Being Addressed by Employers?
Businesses and organizations are using the most recent technology to reduce workplace noise in overly loud settings. Workplace noise will be minimized as new recommendations are being put in place by governments to protect workers.
As more employees become aware of the chronic damage they have suffered as a consequence of workplace noise, they are coming forward. In time, their voices will bring about further change.
Preventing Further Damage
Safeguarding your ears before they become damaged is the smartest plan if you work in a loud environment. Using protective earmuffs or earplugs while at work will help decrease potential damage.
Make an appointment for a hearing exam as soon as possible if you suspect a noisy workplace has caused injury to your hearing. When you ascertain the level of your hearing loss, you will find out how to counter further damage going forward. We address any hearing damage you already have and formulate strategies to help you avoid any further damage.