Occupational Hearing Loss

Jul 18, 2011 by

Occupational hearing loss is a serious health concern for any utility worker today, but it’s not a new issue. When a person is exposed to short but frequent high noise levels can have long-term consequences. Hearing loss brought on by someone’s occupation cost unnecessary money for preventative and post exposure measures. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Occupational deafness is an irreversible, sensorineural condition that results from damage to the nerve cells of the inner ear. Recent estimates from surveys indicate that between 7.4 and 10.2 million people work at sites where the level of noise presents an increased risk of hearing loss 85 decibels or higher. During the period 1978-1987, an estimated $835 million was paid in workers’ compensation claims for occupationally induced hearing impairment.” While this form of hearing loss is not new, it is considered to be the fastest growing workplace epidemic in America.

While most employers will provide hearing protection, most workers do not wear it. The hearing protection blocks out harmful noise, but they also block out important noises. The worker cannot feel as if they are disconnected from the worksite, they need to be able to communicate with other workers. Traditional forms of hearing protection blocks out all noise and does not take into consideration that the worker still needs to be able to hear. Luckily, there are solutions to help prevent hearing loss in loud environments such as the work place.

Custom molded earplugs or earmuffs offer hearing protection and still allow you to communicate at work. Any form of earmuffs would help. Contact HearFlorida and get information about hearing loss prevention.