Roughly two million workplace injuries are reported every year. Usually, we think about a hand caught in a piece of machinery or a flying projectile when we consider work-related injuries.
But the most prevalent workplace injury is a lot more insidious and often goes unreported. Over several years, it will sneak up slowly on people. The injury goes undetected until the effects become impossible to disregard. People often make excuses. “It’s only temporary” or “I’m just getting older. This is normal.
Many individuals don’t even recognize it was brought on by their workplace environment.
Hearing damage is this insidious injury. There are a number of warning signs you should recognize, and there are important steps you need to take if you think the damage is already done.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Your hearing can be permanently damaged with sustained exposure to as little as 85 decibels (dB) over a long period. For reference, a vacuum cleaner runs at around 75 decibels dB. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. A leaf blower or chainsaw generates over 100 dB. A gunshot is about 140 dB.
How noisy is your workplace? Are you being exposed to the most prevalent workplace injury? If you’re frequently exposed to something as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous, your hearing is likely to become damaged over time.
Hearing Damage Signs
You’re definitely harming your hearing if you work in a noisy environment without hearing protection.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- You’re hearing noises in your ears like ringing, whistling, or hissing.
- You confuse consonants – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- Loud sounds cause pain in your ears.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves.
- You tend to withdraw when people are talking.
- You suspect people speaking to you are constantly mumbling.
- Your family and friends tell you your television, radio, or computer tablet volume is too high.
What Are Employers Doing to Reduce Hearing Damage?
Businesses and organizations are utilizing the most recent technology to decrease workplace noise in excessively loud settings. Government agencies are endeavoring to update guidelines that will decrease workplace noise and protect employees.
As more employees become aware of the recurring damage they have endured 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 best plan if you work in a loud environment. Wearing protective earmuffs or earplugs on the job will help decrease potential damage.
Make an appointment for a hearing examination right away if you believe a noisy workplace has caused damage to your hearing. When you determine the extent of your hearing loss, you will find out how to prevent further damage going forward. We can help you develop strategies to protect against further hearing loss and deal with the damage you’ve already experienced.