Every year, around 2 million workplace injuries are documented. Normally, we think of 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 far more insidious and often goes unreported. It sneaks up on people extremely gradually over the course of several years. The majority of individuals don’t even detect it’s occurring until it becomes severe. Excuses are a typical reaction. “It will go away” or “I’m just getting older. This response is common.
And it’s unusual for people to even recognize that their workplace is the cause of this injury.
Damaged hearing is this insidious injury. There are numerous warning signs you should identify, and there are significant steps you need to take if you suspect the damage is already done.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Your hearing can be irreversibly damaged with regular exposure to as little as 85 decibels (dB) over a long period. For reference, a vacuum cleaner runs at about 75 decibels dB. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. A leaf blower or chainsaw creates more than 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot logs in at 140 dB.
Are you at risk when you’re at work? Are you being exposed to the most prevalent workplace injury? Over time, your hearing can be damaged if you’re regularly exposed to sound as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not continuous.
Signs of Hearing Injury
You’re absolutely damaging your hearing if you work in a noisy environment without hearing protection.
The following is are early warning signs that you’re experiencing hearing loss:
- When you talk with people you always think they are mumbling
- You’re hearing sounds in your ears like ringing, hissing, or whistling.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You regularly ask people to repeat what they said.
- You experience pain when you hear loud sounds.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for example.
- People are always complaining about the loud volume of your media devices.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- When people speak, you tend disengage.
How is Hearing Damage Being Addressed by Employers?
Businesses and organizations are utilizing the latest technology to reduce workplace noise in overly loud environments. Government agencies are working to modify guidelines that will decrease workplace noise and protect employees.
Employees are speaking out as they become mindful of the chronic damage that workplace noise is causing. With time, their voices will lead to further change.
Preventing Further Damage
If you work in a noisy setting, the smartest thing you can do is safeguard your ears before any damage takes place. Using protective earmuffs or earplugs while at work will help decrease potential damage.
Make an appointment for a hearing test as soon as possible if you believe a noisy workplace has caused damage to your hearing. You will learn how to counter further damage when you find out how much hearing damage you’re dealing with. We address any hearing damage you already have and develop strategies to help you prevent any additional damage.