Every year, roughly 2 million workplace injuries are documented. 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 prevalent workplace injury is much more insidious and often goes unreported. It sneaks up on people really gradually over several years. The majority of individuals don’t even recognize it’s occurring until it becomes severe. People often make excuses. “It’s only temporary” or “I’m just getting older. This is normal.
And it’s unusual for people to even recognize that their workplace is to blame for this injury.
Damaged hearing is this insidious injury. There are several warning signs you should identify, and there are essential 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 permanently damaged with regular exposure to as little as 85 decibels (dB) over a long period. Seventy-five dB, for instance, is the average volume of a vacuum cleaner. A lawnmower produces 85 dB. If you’re exposed to a chainsaw or leaf blower you’re dealing with 100 dB. A gunshot is about 140 dB.
How noisy is your workplace? Are you being exposed to the most prevalent workplace injury? If you’re regularly exposed to noise as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not constant, your hearing can become damaged over time.
Symptoms of Hearing Damage
You’re definitely harming your hearing if you work in a noisy environment without hearing protection.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following signs:
- When you speak with people you always believe they are mumbling
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background noise.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- When people speak, you tend disengage.
- You hear ringing, whistling, or hissing even when it’s quiet.
- People are always complaining about the high volume of your media devices.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- You often ask people to repeat themselves.
- You experience pain when you hear loud sounds.
How is Hearing Damage Being Dealt With by Employers?
In environments that are very loud, technology is being used by businesses or organizations to reduce workplace noise. Government agencies are endeavoring to modify recommendations that will decrease workplace noise and protect employees.
Employees are coming forward as they become mindful of the long-term damage that workplace noise is causing. Further change will come as their voices are heard.
Preventing Further Damage
If you work in a noisy setting, the best thing you can do is safeguard your ears before any damage is done. Potential damage will be reduced by wearing protective earplugs or earmuffs.
Make an appointment for a hearing exam as soon as possible if you suspect a noisy workplace has caused damage to your hearing. You will discover how to avoid added damage when you find out how much hearing damage you have. We can help you formulate strategies to avoid additional hearing loss and deal with the damage you’ve already experienced.