Thursday, August 22, 2019

Hearing Damage Is Ear-Reversible

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Hearing Damage Is Ear-Reversible

If someone asks you what’s the most common injury at work, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I’d be willing to bet that it wasn’t hearing loss, yet according to an article on USA Today’s website titled, “Shhh! America's most common workplace injury is hearing loss,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that’s exactly what it is. As one would expect, people who work in the mining, construction, and manufacturing industries are the most at risk.

Hearing loss can be accompanied by pain, pressure, ringing in the ears, and a heightened sensitivity to noise. And unfortunately, hearing loss is irreversible, which makes safeguarding a person’s hearing all the more important.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) noise limit for workers who are exposed for eight hours each days is 90 decibels. However, that doesn’t account for exposure to noise outside of the workday. Many noisy places such as restaurants and sporting venues add to a person’s collective danger for hearing loss.

One of the main issues appears to be a lack of employee awareness and education. Many employees may not know that the noise level is high enough to cause damage. This is especially the case when the level is moderate, yet continual throughout the day versus a high noise level that many people can instantly recognize as being hazardous.

Installing noise barriers, or replacing noisy machines and tools with quieter versions is often too costly for employers, so they just rely on their employees to wear hearing protection. This can, unfortunately, lead to the employee simply taking off that protective gear due to comfort or convenience issues.

As one of a person’s five senses, it’s crucial to ensure that their hearing remains viable long after they’ve left the workforce. In order to do that, both the employer and employee need to recognize the importance of not only identifying when hearing protection is warranted, but also mandating that hearing protection gear is worn consistently.

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