It is estimated that around 1 million Australian workers may have their hearing impaired by dangerous levels of noise exposure at work.
In addition to the risk of Occupational Noise Induced Hearing Loss noise can also result in tinnitus, hypertension, fatigue, reduced productivity level and cardiovascular disease. The risk of workplace injuries and accidents
Most occupational hearing loss is a result of long-term exposure to loud noise levels. But the damage to hearing can be the result of a single exposure to high decibel (dBA) noise as well as particular chemicals known as otoxic chemicals.
– Approximately 10% of adult-onset hearing loss is due to workplace noise.
– The most preventable cause of hearing loss and tinnitus is elimination of exposure to noise.
– Hearing loss and tinnitus is caused at a premature age due to prolonged noise exposure that is additive. Therefore, the longer the exposure the quicker the damage.
– A recent study found that ear protection is never worn by workers (31%) and sometimes worn by workers (46%) of the time. These results indicate that dangerous noise exposure is incurred by many individuals despite the provision of ear protection and the known dangers.
The three types of occupation that are most likely to lead to the occupational hearing loss are:
The level of noise commonly experienced on the manufacturing floor make the occupational hearing loss the most common work-related condition in the manufacturing industry. It is claimed that the 80% of workers in manufacturing suffer from some level of hearing loss.
Most damage to hearing caused by working in manufacturing occurs in the first 10 years of employment. As the deterioration in hearing is a gradual process, most sufferers are not aware of their problem until it is too late to help them.
Many regulatory agencies recommend that, over an eight-hour working day, the average level of noise should not exceed 85-90 decibels (dBA). A lot of equipment used in these three industries operate beyond this recommended 85 dBA.
It is estimated that construction workers spend as much as 70% of their time in environments with dangerous noise levels. Yet, they only use some form of protection for their ears less than 30% of that time.
The mining and construction industries have the highest percentage of workers experiencing harmful noise levels at work.
It is important to remember that these are not the only kinds of jobs which are harmful to hearing. High levels of noise, either sustained or isolated, can be experienced in other fields of employment.
Hear Now are specialists in treatment for noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus. We can help diagnose hearing conditions through a simple test, propose solutions and provide ongoing support.
We believe achieving improved hearing takes more than technology – it’s a partnership.
If we cannot help you, we will tell you or suggest where you might get further help.