Every year, around 2 million workplace injuries are reported. When you think about on-the-job injuries, you might think of flying projectiles or a hand caught in a piece of machinery at a factory.
But the most prevalent workplace injury is a lot more pernicious and frequently goes unreported. Over the course of several years, it will sneak up slowly on people. The injury goes undetected until the effects become impossible to ignore. People often make excuses. “It will go away” or “I’m just getting older. This is normal.
Many individuals don’t even realize it was brought on by their workplace environment.
The insidious injury is damaged hearing. There are some essential steps you should take if you notice any of the numerous warning signs.
How Loud is Too Loud?
Continual exposure to sounds louder than 85 decibels (dB) can result in long-term damage to your hearing. For reference, a vacuum cleaner runs at around 75 decibels dB. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. A leaf blower or chainsaw generates more than 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot comes in at 140 dB.
How loud is your workplace? Are you being exposed to the most common 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.
Symptoms of Hearing Injury
If you work in a loud environment, there’s no doubt you’re harming your hearing.
The following is are early warning signs that you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for example.
- When you speak with people you always believe they are mumbling
- You experience pain when you hear loud noises.
- You tend to disengage when others are talking.
- People are always complaining about the loud volume of your media devices.
- You hear ringing, hissing, or whistling even when it’s quiet.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- You often ask people to repeat what they said.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
How is Hearing Damage Being Dealt With by Employers?
In environments that are very loud, technology is being used by organizations and businesses, to reduce workplace noise. Workplace noise will be lessened as new guidelines are being put in place by governments to protect workers.
Employees are coming forward as they become aware of the long-term damage that workplace noise is causing. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Additional Damage
Safeguarding your ears before they are damaged is the best plan if you work in a loud environment. Potential damage will be decreased by using protective earmuffs or earplugs.
If you suspect your hearing has been damaged by a noisy workplace, schedule a hearing test as soon as you can. You will discover how to avoid further damage when you find out how much hearing damage you have. We address any hearing damage you’re already experiencing and formulate strategies to help you avoid any additional damage.