Roughly two million workplace injuries are documented 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 common workplace injury is much more insidious and often goes unreported. It sneaks up on people extremely slowly over several years. The majority of people don’t even recognize it’s happening until it becomes significant. People often make excuses. “It’s only temporary” or “I’m just getting older. This isn’t unusual.
Many people don’t even realize it was related to their workplace environment.
Hearing damage 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”?
Continual exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) can cause long-term damage to your hearing. For reference, a vacuum cleaner runs at about 75 decibels dB. A lawnmower generates 85 dB. A leaf blower or chainsaw produces more than 100 dB. A gunshot is around 140 dB.
Are you at risk when in your work environment? Is the most common workplace injury a problem for you? If you’re regularly exposed to noise as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous, your hearing is likely to become damaged over time.
Hearing Injury Signs
If you work in a noisy environment, there’s no doubt you’re damaging your hearing.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- You hear ringing, whistling, or hissing when it should be quiet.
- When people speak, you tend disengage.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- Loud noises cause pain in your ears.
- You often ask people to repeat themselves.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- You think people speaking to you are constantly mumbling.
- Your family and friends tell you your TV, radio, or computer tablet volume is too loud.
What Are Employers Doing to Reduce Hearing Damage?
In environments that are really loud, technology is being put to use 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 chronic damage that workplace noise is causing. With time, their voices will result in further change.
Preventing Additional Damage
If you work in a noisy setting, the smartest thing you can do is protect your ears before any damage occurs. Potential damage will be minimized by using protective earplugs or earmuffs.
If you think your hearing has been injured by a noisy workplace, schedule a hearing test as soon as possible. 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 develop strategies to help you avoid any further damage.