Home Business Insights & Advice Keeping your hearing safe in the workplace

Keeping your hearing safe in the workplace

by John Saunders
27th May 21 10:33 am

When working in construction or around other heavy machinery and noisy environments, it’s important to protect your hearing so that it doesn’t become damaged later down the line. Here’s what you can do to keep your hearing safe whilst at work.

Which workplace environments pose a threat to hearing

The most typical workplaces that can cause damage to your hearing if you’re not careful are:

Construction sites

Construction sites are often incredibly noisy due to loud, heavy machinery such as drills, hammers, and lorries. There’s usually a lot of different machinery going off at once so the sound is then amplified.

Night clubs, music venues, and gigs

If you work in a night club, play live music, or work on the bar at a gig venue then you will often be faced with music at very high decibels. Over time, this can cause damage to your ears, especially if you are near the speakers or the stage.

Gardening

Depending on the type of gardening that you do, there might be a lot of machinery involved and often gardening equipment is powered by a very loud motor. This can also cause hearing loss over time.

What happens when you don’t take care of your hearing at work?

Over time, you could develop things like tinnitus. Tinnitus is a high-pitched ringing noise in the ears caused by being exposed to loud sounds for long periods of time.

You could also be faced with full or partial deafness, depending on the severity and loudness of the sounds you encounter day to day. The HSE estimates that around 170,000 people in the UK suffer with deafness, tinnitus, or other hearing problems as a result of exposure to excessive noise in the workplace.

What can you do to protect your hearing?

Firstly, invest in a good set of ear plugs to wear whilst you’re at work. You’ll want some that are comfortable and don’t block out all of the sound but just minimise the harsh frequencies and volume of the sound so that you are able to work without causing yourself damage.

You can also wear ear defenders as these will also act as a protective barrier between your ears and the volume of sound. Remember to take regular breaks away from the noise where possible and investigate machinery that is somewhat quieter than the current models you use. Some machines have been reworked to be equally as powerful but quiet enough that you don’t damage your ears.

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