If you work in a dangerous industry or work environment, you know how it is to be faced with hazards on a daily basis. Such issues can include any number of dangerous situations or circumstances, including loud noise. When a work environment is too loud, communication between employees is challenging and workers may have a harder time noticing dangerous situations and warning others about such. Not to mention the risk of hearing loss, which can add to the problem.
A recent study conducted by the National Public Institute of Quebec confirmed this, showing that workers who are routinely exposed to at least 100 decibels of noise have over twice the risk of hospitalization for a workplace injury than those who are not exposed in that way. Employees with hearing loss are also, not surprisingly, more likely to be harmed while working. When hearing loss and loud noises are combined, there is an even greater risk.
While companies have long known that it is in their interest to control sound levels, it always helps to see the numbers. For its part, the Occupation Safety and Health Administration has suggested that employers implement programs to manage loud sounds and monitor worker safety around this issue, but not all employers are good about watching out for safety hazards like this one.
When employees are injured at work, they have the right to receive financial help. Those who have trouble getting an employer to cooperate with the workers' compensation process may have to take a more aggressive approach with the help of a legal professional.
Source: Reuters, "Loud noise may raise risk for workplace injuries," Shereen Jegtvig, April 2, 2014.