Hearing Loss in the Workplace

Hearing loss due to noise-exposure is not always considered to be too much of a threat, especially by younger generations. The possibility of damaging your hearing due to the noises around them may seem unlikely. They go to concerts and loud events without ear protection, and don’t think that will have any effect on them further down the road. But in fact, many people who’ve been exposed to large amounts of loud noise for years are now suffering from serious damage. The most common instance of this? Work-related hearing loss.

It may be surprising to some that hearing loss is one of the most common injuries related to the workplace. But when you consider the millions of construction workers, miners, carpenters, staff at large venues, musicians, and many others, it makes a lot of sense. Even jobs that are not known for being particularly noisy can affect employees’ hearing, as long as they are exposed to the same levels of noise for an extended period of time and don’t protect their ears. Granted, some of these lines of work have specific rules and regulations to limit noise levels. But those rules can only do so much, and when someone’s been doing the same job for years and decades, even low amounts of noise can accumulate damage.

One major factor that influences these workplace injuries is the idea of educating the employees on protecting their hearing. If employees are not told to wear ear protection, or are made aware of what long-term noise exposure can do to their health, then they’ll have no incentive to protect their hearing. Ear protection is often not seen as necessary, but for some workers, it could be the difference between painful suffering, or happy and healthy hearing. Therefore, to keep them from taking off their ear protection, or not wearing it at all, it’s best to train and teach them just how important it is. And companies need to see it that way, as well- giving every employee hearing education and protection may seem to expensive, but in the long run, it helps to insure the health and well-being of all of their employees.

Thankfully, some changes in technology and regulations imply that things may be changing. There are a lot of advancements in medicine towards the prevention and treatment of hearing loss. And there are now certain devices with the technology to alert their users if the noise levels around them have become dangerous. The Center for Disease Control also has a database of tools with quieter sound levels. If companies invest in quieter machines and work to eliminate noise in the workplace, the overall effect will be extremely beneficial.

This technology may be expensive for some small companies to invest in right now, but as the demand increases, it will likely become more affordable and more prominent in the workplace. Companies just have to take the time to educate themselves and their employees on the importance of taking care of your hearing. And an investment in quieter tools, training, and ear protection is completely worth it to preserve a worker’s health and hearing capabilities.