Could your work be causing hearing damage? Extreme noise levels are one of the most frequent causes of hearing damage. If you are employed in one of the subsequent high-noise professions, you have reason to worry about your hearing.An estimated 30 million employees risk dangerous noise exposure at work according to the Centers for Disease Control.Employees in high-noise professions need to equip themselves with the specifics of occupational hearing safety and maintain an open dialogue with their employers.
All employees should assess their own work environments for high-noise levels, particularly anyone in the following jobs.
Manufacturing – The majority of permanent hearing loss disabilities suffered at work come from manufacturing. Manufacturing industries regularly expose workers to machinery and equipment which generates over 90 decibels of noise over extended periods.
Construction Workers – The second greatest number of permanent hearing loss disabilities sustained at work is among construction workers. Construction equipment regularly exposes staff to machinery that produces upwards of 90 decibels. A study of construction workers in WA State showed that construction workers were surrounded by noise measuring 85 decibels or greater in about 70% of their workshifts, but wore their ear protection less than 20% of the time.
Miners – According to the Center for Disease Control, 49 percent of male miners will have a hearing disability before age 50 (vs. 9percent of the general public) increasing to 70percent by age 60.
Motorcycle Courier – Research into motorcycle noise – with and without helmets – under various road conditions at speeds between 45 mph to 65 revealed that the sound measured varied from 70 to 128 decibels.
DJs and Nightclub Staff – Everyone that works at a night club – bartenders, security, wait staff – is at risk, not just the DJs. In a controlled study, sound levels of up to 108 decibels were recorded in the nightclubs. The average noise level for a normal night out was 96 decibels which is over the noise level at which employers are required to provide ear protection. The study came to the conclusion that DJs are at sizeable risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss and sound exposure in nightclubs frequently exceeds safe levels.
Band & Orchestra – Research on the noise exposures of classical musicians encountered during both rehearsals and performances found that the brass section averaged 95 decibels while the strings and brass section averaged 90 decibels. Peak volumes were 130 decibels in the brass and percussion sections. Another Swedish study revealed that 59 out of 139 orchestra musicians – 42 percent – had hearing losses greater than that expected for their ages.
Airport Staff – The sound of an airplane engine is among the loudest auditory occupational hazards, with noise levels at a stunning 140 decibels.
Firefighters and Paramedics – All of the sirens squealing accumulate over time. Several research studies have examined the frequency of hearing problems in firefighters and emergency vehicle drivers with most finding that firefighters experienced accelerated hearing loss compared to the general public of similar age.
Military – Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the number one disability amongst US military personnel. As stated by the Deafness Research Foundation, more than 65 percent of returning combat troops from Afghanistan suffer from noise-induced hearing loss.
Plumbers – The CDC webpage for Work-Related Hearing Loss states that 48% of plumbers claimed that they had a perceived hearing loss.
Agriculture – Hearing protection among farm and agricultural workers is uncommon despite fairly regular contact with excessive noise. Studies of male farmers observed that by age 30, one-quarter already had a hearing impairment. By age 50, the rate of hearing impairment climbed to half.