Hearing Safety in the Workplace
OSHA estimates that about 30 million Americans every year are exposed to something called occupational noise exposure. Occupational noise exposure is a sound level that is extremely hazardous and requires some type of hearing protection. It is also important to note that OSHA has found that noise-related hearing loss is one of the most significant health and safety concerns of the last 25 years. If workers are exposed to high levels of noise without any hearing protection, they can very easily suffer permanent hearing damage, and there are no hearing aids or surgery that can reverse hearing damage once it has occurred. To combat this and prevent future incidents, we’ve gone ahead and compiled some important reasons why you should be taking hearing safety in the workplace seriously.
The sad truth is that hearing protection is too often overlooked and ignored compared to other potential hazards in the workplace. Workers frequently expose themselves to loud industrial noises without hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs, and they end up paying the price later. Don’t be one of these people. Know the damaging side effects of exposure to industrial sounds without hearing protection. We’ll help you out!
Heightened Annoyance and Mental Stress
Any worker who is constantly exposed to loud noises for hours on end every day they go to work will become easily annoyed. This not only leads to less productivity, but it also creates hostility within the workplace.
Along with becoming more easily annoyed with things, workers will also become much more stressed out than they normally would be. Correct hearing protection will eliminate these problems and allow your workers to work in a much quieter and less stressful atmosphere.
Trouble Communicating and Focusing
Logically, constantly working around loud noises all day is going to eventually affect the brain. You could experience headaches that could cause a loss of focus, especially if the exposure is for 8 hours or more a day. This creates problems, because once someone loses their ability to focus on the job and the tasks at hand, everything becomes more difficult and the chances of a workplace incident or injury occurring rises dramatically. Wearing the correct hearing protection will reduce both loud noises as well as the negative effects it has on workers’ brains and their ability to focus.
Lowered Production Levels
It should be no surprise that neglecting to protect the hearing of your workers is going to affect their production levels. We already discussed how occupational noise exposure will make it harder for workers to focus and communicate. This only creates a domino effect; they are unable to focus, their production levels drop, and your company’s bottom line is ultimately affected. Simply protecting the hearing of your workers will eliminate ALL of these problems, so don’t neglect this!
Higher Probability of Workplace Incidents
Of all the problems we have covered in regards to the neglection of hearing protection in the workplace, the worst is easily the fact that it will dramatically raise the chances of your workers getting hurt, injured, or even killed on the job. When they’ve been exposed to loud noises for such extended periods of time, their hearing becomes affected and they will lose the ability to hear and follow instructions or warning signs. This leads to accidents that can harm your workers as well as affect your company’s safety record and bottom line. It doesn’t take much to protect the hearing of your employees, so just do it. You’ll be thankful later.
There are a number of ways to prevent hearing damage in the workplace. You can check out one of the many classes offered by Safety Partners, or you can simply supply your workers with the proper hearing protection equipment. Ideally, you will want to combine the two, but completely ignoring or neglecting the fact that your workers need hearing protection is only a recipe for disaster. Don’t allow something terrible to happen, or your company’s productivity levels to be affected just because you and your company didn’t take the correct preventive measures when it comes to hearing safety in the workplace.
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