Noises at Your Place of WorkNovember 15, 2023
Who knew that even going to work can be harmful for your hearing?! Some workplace noises are actually loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage over time, so it is a good idea to become aware of these noises and take steps to protect your hearing to prevent any damage.
First and foremost, any noise that rises above 85dB is deemed to be unsafe for your hearing and can result in hearing loss over time. This means that sounds such as heavy machinery and loud equipments can be damaging to your ears. As a general rule, if you need to raise the volume of your voice in order to communicate with a person standing at an arm’s length away from you, this means that the noise at your workplace is too loud.
Some professions are more prone to enduring hearing damage than others. These include those working in the mining, construction, and manufacturing industries. Even musicians, bar tenders, and those who work at salons operating hair dryers may experience hearing damage over time. Soldiers who have faced combat are also at a high risk of facing hearing damage due to direct exposure to loud artillery noises.
Noises are not only annoying; they can also result in added mental stress. At the end of a noisy work day, you may feel exhausted as well as irritable. You may find that your hearing is muffled and you may even experience a rise in blood pressure. These can lead to various health conditions in the future, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.
A recent study by NIOSH found that 58% of the hearing problems faced by workers in the workplace were a result of noises that could be reduced to a safer level. A shocking 22 million employees annually face unsafe levels of loud noises in the workplace. Nine percent of those with high cholesterol and fourteen percent of those with hypertension could be connected to loud noises that were endured in the workplace.
Most workplaces that have unsafe levels of noise are aware of these dangers, and thus provide protective gear to all their employees. Always make sure you wear your hearing protection gear to work each day, and keep them on the whole time you are on the job. Be it headphones, earmuffs, or earplugs, hearing protection is essential in helping to retain your hearing from preventable damage.
Workers face a significant loss of income in the workplace as a result of hearing loss each year. You can prevent this loss as well as any added stress by protecting your hearing. If you find that your workplace is too loud, simply carry your personal set of ear plugs for personal use in the workplace. Hearing loss is irreversible, so it is always a good idea to protect your hearing while you still have it.