Approximately two million workplace injuries are documented every year. 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 common workplace injury is much more pernicious and frequently goes unreported. Over the course of several years, it will sneak up slowly on people. Most individuals don’t even notice it’s occurring until it becomes significant. People often make excuses. “It will go away” or “I’m just getting older. This isn’t unusual.
Many people don’t even realize it was related to their workplace environment.
The insidious injury is hearing damage. There are numerous warning signs you should recognize, and there are essential steps you need to take if you think the damage is already done.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Sustained exposure to sounds above 85 decibels (dB) can result in long-term damage to your hearing. Seventy-five dB, for example, is the average volume of a vacuum. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. If you’re exposed to a chainsaw or leaf blower you’re dealing with 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot comes in at 140 dB.
Are you at risk when in your work environment? 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 constant, your hearing can become damaged over time.
Signs of Hearing Injury
If you work in a loud environment, there’s no question you’re harming your hearing.
The following is are early warning signs that you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- When people speak, you tend withdraw.
- Loud sounds cause pain in your ears.
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You’re hearing sounds in your ears like ringing, hissing, or whistling.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for example.
- Your friends and family tell you your television, radio, or computer tablet volume is too high.
- When you speak with people you constantly believe they are mumbling
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
What Are Employers Doing to Reduce Hearing Damage?
Businesses and organizations are using the latest technology to lessen workplace noise in excessively loud settings. Workplace noise will be decreased as new recommendations are being put in place by governments to protect workers.
Employees are speaking out as they become aware of the long-term damage that workplace noise is causing. In time, their voices will bring about further change.
Preventing Additional Damage
Protecting your ears before they are damaged is the smartest plan if you work in a loud setting. Potential damage will be minimized by wearing protective earmuffs or earplugs.
Schedule an appointment for a hearing exam as soon as possible if you think a noisy workplace has caused damage to your hearing. When you ascertain the degree of your hearing loss, you will find out how to avoid further damage going forward. We can help you formulate strategies to avoid further hearing loss and manage the damage you’ve already experienced.