If you work in an industry that deals with excessively loud machinery, you know how sensitive your ears become after a long day at work. Naturally, you take precautions like wearing the required earplugs and ear wear mandated by regulations within your industry, and do your best to protect yourself. But what if prolonged, debilitating symptoms occur well after the workday is over?
The World Health Organization says that more than 360 million people have hearing loss that leaves them disabled in some way. While some of the hearing loss comes with age and heredity, working in conditions that involve high levels of noise are also a contributing factor. Construction workers are not the only ones who deal with loud equipment and machinery on a daily basis. Other industries such as print houses, welding shops and manufacturing plants are just a few of the other industries where workers encounter loud noises day in and day out. While sometimes the side effects are temporary, prolonged exposure to these conditions can also cause irreversible damage. How can you tell if you are experiencing ear damage or hearing loss? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you experience continual ringing in your ears, well after you have left work?
- Do you have to shout to make yourself heard when speaking to others?
- Do your ears hurt several hours after exposure to the noise?
- Do you feel like you cannot hear anything for a period of time after being exposed to the noise?
What are some ways to prevent the further damage to your ears if you are employed at a jobsite where high levels of noise are prominent? Here are some tools you can implement:
- Establish a barrier between the area of noise and the operator.
- Choose machinery that has a lower level of noise.
- Schedule shifts so that the machinery is operated during times when there are fewer employees present.
- Wear earplugs and earmuffs that have advanced noise barrier features, such as those that reduce noise by 15 to 30 decibels.
While we may not have a choice when it comes to changing our place of employment, it does make sense to take precautions on the job if your hearing is being affected. If you have experienced debilitating side effects from your workplace, you may want to talk with a New York law firm who has worked on cases involving workplace injuries and prolonged side effects. This is not a situation you will want to take on yourself, as proving the cause could be difficult when it comes to machinery and equipment.
We all strive to live healthy lives and do what we can to protect our bodies and our senses. Making sure you stay safe on the job is critical.