Noise is an Occupational Health & Safety Hazard

Occupational Health and Hearing Aids

Noise is a prevalent occupational health hazard that impacts millions of workers yearly. Whether you work within a construction zone, a stadium, or on a tarmac at an airport, a hazardous amount of noise can damage your hearing if preventive measures arenโ€™t taken. Without such measures, you are more susceptible to hearing loss, either temporarily or permanently, where treatments such as the use of hearing aids could be required. Fortunately, workers can be protected and noise-induced hearing loss in work environments can be preventable when employers and supervisors stringently follow occupational health and safety standards.

Noise in the Workplace 

Find out more about how noise is a common health hazard in the workplace, what measures can be employed, and how noise hazards can be reduced and eliminated. 

What is Considered Too Loud?

Noise is measured in decibels, and the higher the decibel, the higher the risk of hearing damage. Other noise factors include the frequency of the sound and the length of exposure. Permanent hearing loss may result from prolonged exposure to noises 85 decibels or more for a period of 8 hours. For reference, 85 decibels is similar to the noise produced by a food blender (80 decibels) or a lawn mower (90 decibels). 

Prevention & Protection

It is often required to wear protective gear to minimize direct exposure to noises beyond a certain threshold. If you work in an area that is perpetually exposed to noise, you should wear ear muffs or use custom earplugs. Individuals can ask for a report of noise levels in the worksite to ensure they are at a safe level. Workplaces should also be proactive in maintaining and lubricating any heavy equipment that produces high levels of noise. 

While taking measures to reduce hazardous noise should be a priority for workers, it is ultimately the responsibility of management to reduce noise exposure and implement adequate safety processes and procedures. 

Worker with protective headphone at man hands at industrial factory

Using Signs

If noises in specific work areas exceed the occupational exposure limit of 85 decibels, noise hazard signage should be implemented as soon as possible. These signs indicate that wearing protective gear is required before entering. If noise levels approach or go beyond 100 decibels, signs should indicate wearing both ear muffs and ear plugs for proper protection. 

Regular Hearing Tests

When you work in an environment where noise decibels are above the exposure limit level, you should get a hearing test at least six months after you start working and at regular intervals going forward. If your hearing becomes impaired due to workplace noise, you could eventually require hearing aids to help you overcome and prevent permanent hearing loss. 

We want to help you hear better. Our Toronto hearing clinic has everything you need to help your hearing, from hearing tests and hearing aid repair to replacement batteries, tinnitus treatments in Toronto, and so much more. With a team of audiologists, who know what it takes to deliver high-quality and compassionate care, our services are perfect for those with age-related hearing concerns and children. Plus, Toronto Family Hearing also performs ear cleaning and ear wax removal in Toronto for those with related concerns. If you want quality care that can make a difference, contact us today at (416) 792-9401 or [email protected]