Occupational hearing loss is a common workplace injury in Colorado that can have serious long-term consequences. Therefore, employers and employees must be aware of the risks of occupational hearing loss and take steps to prevent it.
What is occupational hearing loss?
Occupational hearing loss is hearing damage that is caused by exposure to loud noises or other hazardous sounds in the workplace. A one-time exposure to deafening noise or prolonged exposure to noise levels above safe limits can cause it. Construction, manufacturing, and entertainment workers are particularly at risk for occupational hearing loss.
Symptoms of occupational hearing loss
The symptoms of occupational hearing loss can vary, but they often include difficulty understanding speech, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds. If you suspect that you may be experiencing hearing loss, it’s essential to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Employers should provide employees with hearing protection such as earplugs or earmuffs. This protection should be worn whenever employees are exposed to loud noises. Employers should also limit employees’ exposure to loud noises by providing noise-reducing equipment or implementing engineering controls.
Another measure employers can take is educating employees on the risks of occupational hearing loss and how to prevent it. This can include training in effectively using hearing protection and recognizing the signs of hearing damage.
What should you do if you suspect you have occupational hearing loss?
If you suspect that you may have occupational hearing loss, it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor can evaluate your hearing and determine the best course of treatment. In addition, depending on the severity of your hearing loss, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which may cover solutions such as hearing aids, cochlear implants or other therapies.
Ensuring hearing health of people in the workplace
Occupational hearing loss is a common workplace injury that can have serious long-term consequences on the sufferer’s life. By preventing hearing loss, employers and employees can work together to avoid occupational hazards to hearing.