Wherever you work, your employer will be required to undertake certain precautions to ensure the safety of you and other employees. This can include occupational health and safety training as well as the use of protective gear in some environments.
What you may not have taken into account is what you’re doing to protect your ears. Noise-induced hearing loss is not something to be taken lightly, as the effects can be permanent.
How loud is too loud?
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Victorian government’s Better Health Channel, continued exposure to noise above the level of 85 decibels can lead to gradual loss of hearing1,2. Those occupations listed by the ASHA as posing a possible risk of hearing loss include construction workers, miners, emergency services, DJs, factory workers and musicians2.
The effects of this continued exposure to loud noise can involve not only hearing loss, but also fatigue, headaches and tinnitus1, a hearing condition associated with a constant internal ringing or buzzing.
What can I do to protect my ears?
You can check the noise levels at your workplace by using a sound level meter, as well as taking other preventative steps or suggesting such steps to your employer:
- Conducting sound-sensitive work or relocating equipment to a soundproofed or isolated area
- Update equipment which is particularly noisy
- Using personal hearing protection such as ear muffs or ear plugs
Those experiencing the symptoms of hearing loss or any adverse effects from working in a loud environment should consult a Clinician, who will be able to advise you on further preventative measures or solutions.
If you have any concerns about your workplace hearing health, click here or call 1300 674 934 to book a no cost* hearing check-up with Adelaide Digital Hearing Solutions.
Better Health Channel Victoria, Workplace safety – noise pollution. Accessed April 24, 2015. Available here.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Noise at work. Accessed April 24, 2015. Available here.