When it comes to hazards in the workplace, we often think of dangerous falls and heavy lifting. But hazards can come in all shapes, sizes, and sounds. Even sounds in the workplace can sometimes pose a threat to your safety. In fact, noise hazards in the workplace have the potential to create long-lasting damage
Noise Hazards in the Workplace: Preventing Damage
How Do Noise Hazards Cause Hearing Damage?
Noise is any sound that doesn’t occur naturally in an environment. Therefore, in the workplace that can mean sounds coming from machines or highway traffic. Depending on how close you are to these objects, this noise can be extremely loud. Exposure to these loud noises can eventually cause damage in the cilia, which results in permanent hearing damage.
How Do I Know if My Workplace Has Noise Hazards?
Fortunately, it can be fairly easy to assess if you have any noise hazards at your job. First, ask yourself if the noise is too loud. You can judge this by whether or not you have to shout just to talk to someone near by. In that case, it’s likely you are doing with a noise hazard. Another way to judge it is to ask where the noise is coming from. For instance, are tools or machines causing vibrations and loud noise?
Lastly, ask yourself how many hours a day you around these sounds? Half the work day or the majority of your time at work? In that case, it’s quite likely you’re experiencing noise hazards on the job.
How Do I Know If I’m Experiencing Hearing Loss?
There are a number of symptoms that can indicate you are suffering from hearing loss. For instance, straining to hear or favoring one ear over the other can be symptoms. In addition, speaking louder than normal or and misunderstanding conversations can also be signs. Lastly, having trouble hearing through objects like a TV, radio, or phone are also symptoms of hearing loss.
Because noise hazards can sometimes lead to permanent hearing damage, it’s important to be proactive. If you think you are experiencing noise hazards on the job, speak to a manager. Be sure to wear protective ear wear as a preventative measure while you’re at work. Furthermore, if you believe you are experiencing hearing loss due to noise in the workplace, be not to wait to report this at work.