About two million workplace injuries are documented every year. Normally, we think of a hand caught in a piece of machinery or a flying projectile when we consider work-related injuries.
But there is a far more pernicious on-the-job injury that is even more prevalent and frequently unnoticed. Over the course of several years, it will sneak up slowly on people. The majority of people don’t even detect it’s occurring until it becomes significant. People typically make excuses. “It will go away” or “I’m just getting older. This isn’t unusual.
Many people don’t even recognize it was brought on by their workplace environment.
The insidious injury is hearing damage. There are a number of warning signs you should recognize, and there are important steps you need to take if you think the damage is already done.
Exactly When Does The Volume Become “Too Loud”?
Your hearing can be irreversibly damaged with sustained exposure to as little as 85 decibels (dB) over a long period. Seventy-five dB, for example, is the average volume of a vacuum cleaner. A lawnmower delivers 85 dB. A leaf blower or chainsaw produces more than 100 dB. And the volume of a gunshot comes in at 140 dB.
How loud is your workplace? Is the most common workplace injury an issue for you? If you’re frequently exposed to something as loud as a lawnmower, even if it’s not constant, your hearing can become damaged over time.
Hearing Damage Signs
If you work in a noisy environment, there’s no doubt you’re harming your hearing.
Your experiencing hearing loss if you notice any of the following signs:
- Conversations sound muffled.
- Your family and friends tell you your TV, radio, or computer tablet volume is too loud.
- When you talk with people you constantly think they are mumbling
- You experience pain when you hear loud sounds.
- You confuse consonants – “Todd” sounds like “Dodd,” for instance.
- You hear ringing, whistling, or hissing even when it’s quiet.
- You frequently ask people to repeat themselves when they talk.
- You can’t understand the person speaking if there’s background sound.
- You tend to disengage when others are talking.
How is Hearing Damage Being Dealt With by Employers?
Businesses and organizations are using the most recent technology to reduce workplace noise in overly loud settings. Government agencies are working to modify guidelines that will reduce workplace noise and protect employees.
As more employees become aware of the chronic damage they have suffered as a result of workplace noise, they are speaking out. Over 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 environment. Potential damage will be reduced by wearing protective earplugs or earmuffs.
Make an appointment for a hearing examination right away if you think a noisy workplace has caused damage to your hearing. You will discover how to avoid additional damage when you determine how much hearing damage you have. We address any hearing damage you already have and formulate strategies to help you avoid any additional damage.