Roughly two million workplace injuries are documented each year. When you think of on-the-job injuries, you may think of flying projectiles or a hand caught in a piece of machinery at a factory.
But the most prevalent workplace injury is far more insidious and often goes unreported. It sneaks up on people extremely slowly over several years. The injury goes unnoticed until the symptoms become impossible to disregard. Excuses are a typical reaction. “It’s only temporary” or “I’m just getting older. This is normal.
And it’s unusual for people to even acknowledge that their workplace is the cause of this injury.
Damaged hearing is this insidious injury. There are some important steps you should take if you recognize any of the numerous warning signs.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Sustained exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Seventy-five dB, for instance, is the average volume of a vacuum cleaner. A lawnmower delivers 85 dB. If you’re exposed to a leaf blower or a chainsaw you’re dealing with 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot logs in at 140 dB.
How noisy is your workplace? Are you being exposed to the most prevalent workplace injury? If you’re regularly exposed to something as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous, your hearing can become damaged over time.
Hearing Injury Signs
If you work in a loud environment, there’s no doubt you’re harming your hearing.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following signs:
- You experience pain when you hear loud noises.
- You regularly ask people to repeat themselves when they speak.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- When you talk with people you always believe they are mumbling
- People are always complaining about the high volume of your media devices.
- You confuse consonants – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- When people speak, you tend withdraw.
- You hear ringing, hissing, or whistling even when it’s quiet.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
How is Hearing Damage Being Tackled by Employers?
Businesses and organizations are utilizing the most recent technology to lessen workplace noise in excessively loud environments. Workplace noise will be decreased as new recommendations are being put in place by governments to protect workers.
Employees are coming forward as they become aware of the chronic damage that workplace noise is causing. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Additional Damage
If you work in a noisy environment, the best thing you can do is safeguard your ears before any damage takes place. Potential damage will be decreased by using protective earplugs or earmuffs.
Schedule an appointment for a hearing exam right away if you suspect a noisy workplace has caused injury to your hearing. You will learn 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 develop strategies to help you avoid any additional damage.