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Health effects associated with workplace noise exposure

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Many California work environments contain injury hazards, and while some put your bones or back at risk, others have the potential to impact your ability to hear. Work-related hearing loss is a serious problem in California and across the nation, with an estimated 22 million American employees facing dangerous levels of noise on the job every day.

Per EHS Daily Advisor, while work-related hearing loss may lead to lifelong auditory issues and, in some cases, permanent hearing loss, it is also preventable.

Recognizing the health effects of workplace hearing loss

While exposure to hazardous levels of noise has the potential to hurt anyone, how much of a risk you face depends on certain variables, such as the level of noise you face in the workplace and whether your exposure to it is long or short. Short-term exposure to hazardous levels of noise may lead to issues like tinnitus, which may result in you hearing ringing in one or both ears. Long-term exposure to dangerous noise levels has the capacity to lead to more serious issues, including permanent hearing loss.

Preventing workplace hearing loss

There are certain steps your employer might take to reduce your exposure to hazardous levels of noise. Investing in lower-noise tools and machinery is one such effort. Making sure all machinery has proper lubrication is another. Using sound barriers, such as walls or curtains, may also reduce risks, and so, too, does requiring all workers to wear ear protection any time they face exposure to noise.

While noisy work environments raise the risk of workers experiencing hearing loss, loud workplace noise may also cause stress and reduce worker productivity.