According to Amerisafe Consulting & Safety Services, the most common workplace injury reported is hearing loss.
When thinking of safety concerns on a safety construction site, hearing damage might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, an individual exposed to extreme levels of noise can experience permanent hearing loss.
This type of hearing loss is severe to the inner ear and cannot be simply corrected with surgery or hearing aids.
The best way to protect against hearing loss is to prevent it.
- Measure the job site’s sound intensity. OSHA recommends a workplace with noise levels below 85 decibels (dBA). A noise dosimeter can be used to document the sound exposure over the course of a workday or task.
- Plan ahead. Employers must do their research on a job site before beginning work to determine if the site needs maintenance to minimize the risk of hearing loss.
- Limit the hours working at a noisy site. Many construction sites are unavoidably loud. However, there is a difference between the normal job site sound level and a damaging one. The longer a worker is exposed to the harmful noise level, the more damage it causes.
- Invest in the correct hearing protection. Workers must be equipped with the correct hearing protection for the job they’re performing.
- Choose the quietest equipment. When it comes to equipment for a job site, ask your employer about purchasing or renting quieter tools and/or equipment.
- Block the noise. You can help control the noise level by building or purchasing noise barriers.
Hearing loss has lifelong effects. It is worth it take the necessary measures as a worker and as an employer to prevent the possibility of hearing loss on the job.