Noise Control: Workplace Safety Concern
Your hearing is one of the most important of your five senses. The ability to hear clearly not only allows for communication, but it can also alert you to potential safety concerns, such as those found on the highway. While many people experience a general loss in their hearing as they age, some people have this process accelerated by noise in the workplace. Acute exposure to loud workplace environments can lead to hearing loss, and it only gets worse the longer someone is exposed.
Types of Loud Workplaces
While most office environments are considered “safe” when it comes to noise, some are not. Workplaces that incorporate loud fans or motors can lead to hearing problems, and even office environments that use loud speaker announcements could potentially damage hearing in time. Of course, occupations in places like warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and industrial facilities are also known to cause hearing problems.
How to Protect Your Hearing at Work
Hearing protection needs to be a key part of your company’s workplace safety plan. When designing this portion of your plan, find and list all areas where employees or customers frequent that features loud noises. Does one of your employees work long shifts next to a loud engine? Do your employees use power tools on a daily basis? If so, your workplace safety plan needs to include the provision of hearing protection devices, such as earplugs or headphones.
Provide Hearing Screening Options
Another part of your workplace safety plan needs to include a provision for employees in affected areas to receive an annual hearing screening. This screening will likely involve the employee listening to various tones at differing frequencies to see if hearing loss has occurred. If it has, an audiologist will be able to provide recommendations, and in many cases, you can catch hearing loss before it becomes severe with regular testing.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Employees should also be encouraged to be attentive to signs of hearing loss, both at home and at work. If signs are noticed, it would be wise to schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. While the most common sign of hearing loss is the need to ask people to repeat themselves, you may also notice that someone with hearing loss will speak loudly as they are unaware of their volume. Likewise, things like keeping the television or radio on a very loud setting could indicate a hearing problem. Thankfully, corrective devices and new technologies are providing relief, so the sooner the problem is addressed, the better the chances of correcting it.
Contact Poms & Associates to Discuss Your Workplace Safety Needs
At Poms & Associates, we specialize in workplace safety guidance. Our experts work one-on-one with our clients to create workplace safety strategies that speak to each client’s unique concerns. We can help you to improve not only the safety of your workplace, but also the health and happiness of your employees. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation.
Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include workplace safety and health.