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 there is a much more insidious on-the-job injury that is even more common and often unnoticed. Over the course of a few years, it will sneak up slowly on people. The majority of people don’t even recognize it’s occurring until it becomes significant. Excuses are a typical reaction. “It’s just part of growing older” or “It’s not a permanent issue”. This response is common.
And it’s unusual for people to even acknowledge that their workplace is to blame for this injury.
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 believe the damage is already done.
How Loud is Too Loud?
Continual exposure to sounds above 85 decibels (dB) can trigger long-term damage to your hearing. Seventy-five dB, for example, is the average volume of a vacuum. Eighty-five dB for a lawnmower. A chainsaw or leaf blower produces over 100 dB. A gunshot is around 140 dB.
How noisy is your workplace? 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 constant, your hearing can become damaged over time.
Signs of Hearing Damage
If you work in a noisy environment, there’s no question you’re harming your hearing.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- When people speak, you tend withdraw.
- You feel pain when you hear loud sounds.
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves.
- When you talk with people you constantly believe they are mumbling
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- You’re hearing noises in your ears like ringing, hissing, or whistling.
- Conversations sound muffled.
- Your family and friends tell you your television, radio, or computer tablet volume is too loud.
- consonants get confused – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
What Are Employers Doing to Reduce Hearing Damage?
Businesses and organizations are using the most recent technology to reduce workplace noise in excessively loud environments. Workplace noise will be lessened as new recommendations 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. With time, their voices will bring about further change.
Preventing Further Damage
If you work in a noisy environment, the best thing you can do is safeguard your ears before any damage takes place. Potential damage will be decreased by wearing protective earmuffs or earplugs.
Schedule an appointment for a hearing test right away if you suspect a noisy workplace has caused damage to your hearing. You will discover how to prevent further damage when you find out how much hearing damage you’re dealing with. We can help you formulate strategies to avoid further hearing loss and manage the damage you’ve already experienced.