According to OSHA, every year approximately 30 million people in the United States are subjected to occupational noise exposure – this is a noise level that’s both hazardous and requires hearing protection.
OSHA also reports that noise-related hearing loss is one of the most prevalent job-related health concerns for the last 25 years. Exposure to high levels of noise in some cases causes permanent hearing loss, and neither surgery nor a hearing aid can correct it.
Hearing protection is often ignored, or not paid as much attention to as other types of possible hazards with workplace safety. Too often workers around loud industrial noises fail to wear the proper hearing safety equipment, like earplugs and earmuffs, and later on down the road feel the side effects (as well as some at the time of the noises).
A few of the dangerous side effects of failed hearing protection:
1. Increased Irritability And Psychological Stress
When you’re exposed to loud noises for several hours a day, you become irritated with things more easily. This leads to a more hostile workplace.
Increased irritability also leads to workers having more stress, because they become annoyed more easily with things that, under quieter circumstances, would be easier to handle. Proper hearing protection prevents psychological stress and increased irritability from occurring.
2. Increased Difficulty Concentrating And Communicating
Being around loud industrial noises all day takes its toll on the brain. If you’re exposed to loud noises for eight hours a day, you may experience headaches that lead to difficulty in concentrating. When you’re unable to concentrate, everything at your job becomes harder to do and increases the risk for workplace accidents and injuries. If you practice proper hearing protection, you reduce loud noise and its negative effects on the brain and concentration.
3. Reduced Productivity
Poor hearing protection greatly reduces the productivity of your workers. As we state above, occupational noise exposure in the workplace leads to difficulty concentrating. When workers are unable to concentrate, their productivity plummets and negatively affects your company’s bottom line. With the proper hearing protection, your workers’ concentration isn’t compromised and their productivity levels remain steady.
4. Increased Chance Of Workplace Accidents
Bad hearing protection increases the chance of workplace accidents and injuries because of the effect it has on your ears and your hearing. When your hearing is compromised, it’s harder to hear instructions or warning signals. To generate better workplace safety in regards to a loud work environment, using the proper hearing protection significantly reduces accidents and injuries.
To ensure your company is protecting your workers’ well-being and minimizing workers’ exposure to high levels of hazardous noise and other dangerous conditions, consider implementing a safety program.
Ready learn more about hearing protection and developing an effective safety training program for your facility? Call 800-523-5367 or click on the button below to speak with a safety specialist at Arbill.