Continuous loud noises at the workplace often lead to hearing loss in workers. Hear loss is a kind of injury which is often overlooked. This is because the time needed to cause significant injury varies in cases and even though a person may experience hearing loss, it may not affect their ability to perform at work. However, in cases where the person is significantly impaired, hear loss may further lead to an increased risk of hazards. In other cases, it may also affect the person’s ability to perform efficiently at work.
When a worker has some form of disability in the ears, they may not be able to execute safety protocols properly, resulting in harm and injury of other individuals and workers. The worker with hearing loss may also be exposed to more danger if they cannot hear warning sounds that will keep them out of danger.
The human body has the ability to adapt to certain changes. For example, if one sense lacks to perform properly, other senses may be bolstered. However, even that is not enough to provide safety to the individual and to other workers, and often results in some kind of harm or the other. If a person is constantly at risk of injury due to hear loss, their workers’ compensation claims for benefits and insurance may rise. This increase in insurance claims and workers’ compensation benefits could easily have been avoided if the first incident was reported on time. Under reporting is a common issue at the workplace which often leads to bigger problems.
What happens when a worker is exposed to high noise?
Workers are exposed to various loud noises at the workplace, especially at construction sites and in factories. Exposure to high noises at the job often leads to hearing loss. Once hearing loss occurs, it leads to other hazards at the workplace. Long-term exposure to noises at the workplace causes damage to the ears. High pitched tones that have a high decibel rate harm the inner, central, and outer ear. Exposure over an extended period of time causes irreparable impairment. When a worker is exposed to noise pollution, it affects their products, and minor and major job tasks are also affected.
Research shows that apart from affecting the exposed individual, hearing loss impacts other workers on the job as well. The person with a hearing loss may cause a negative situation to transpire at the workplace and may lead to incidents where no one is actually at fault. These accidents and injuries then lead to an increase in workers’ compensation programs. When the management notices this increase in workers’ compensation claims, they will eventually fire someone due to extra costs, as lack of production and higher payouts will result in potential termination.
Preventing hear loss
As hearing loss is a potential problem at the work place, a number of prevention programs have been recommended by the United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for employees at job sites. These programs include the use of ear protectors as well as control and monitoring of noise levels. It also includes educating the workers on how safety protocols can be used at work. Following these guidelines will prevent further hearing loss and avoid injuries and accidents.