Noise-induced hearing loss has become a very serious issue in the workplace, affecting millions of people around the world.
According to the CDC, 12% of the US working population suffer from hearing difficulties, making this condition the third most common chronic physical condition among adults in the nation. It is also the most common work-related injury.
Hearing loss can be caused by a variety of noise hazards in the workplace, including prolonged exposure to noise caused by high-power tools, as well as loud conversation and background noise.
To minimize the chances of employees suffering from hearing impairment, there are at least three effective ways you can protect yourself against noise hazards in the workplace.
Tips to reduce workplace noise hazards
1. Set Up Acoustic Barriers
One of the most straightforward ways to prevent hearing loss caused by noise exposure in the workplace is to set up sound-absorbing acoustic barriers.
For example, acoustic foam, panels, or curtains are all great ways to filter out or reduce high-decibel noises to a minimum.
2. Enforce the Use of PPE
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends that all workers should wear hearing protection equipment when engaged in work that exposes them to noises louder than 85dB.
Though it is a recommendation, not a requirement, employers should still enforce the use of personal protection equipment to prevent employees from experiencing lifelong acoustic trauma.
3. Reduce Employees’ Time in Loud Areas
A one-time exposure to an extremely loud sound can already cause serious harm to the ears. Needless to say, prolonged exposure to loud noises can result in irreversible destruction to the acoustic nerve and cause hearing loss.
To prevent work injuries like this from occurring, make sure to limit the amount of time employees spend in loud areas by allowing them to take breaks regularly or conduct other tasks in quieter environments.
More Tips Reduce Workplace Noise Hazards - Infographic
Want to learn more on how you can protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss, check out this neat inforgraphic from Zoro to learn more: