A Tennessee construction site is a hazardous place to work. While many employers and employees prioritize workplace safety, the threat of potential hearing loss is often an afterthought. Hearing loss also tends to happen over time, meaning it is often more difficult to identify than other, more obvious types of workplace injuries.
Per OHSO Online, while hearing loss is largely preventable, once it occurs, it is there to stay. While hearing aids may make hearing loss less problematic, there are no surgeries or treatments that “cure” noise-induced hearing loss.
Understanding the noise risks you face in construction
Jackhammers, forklifts and other loud equipment often contribute to hearing loss on construction sites, and construction sites in urban areas may have especially high levels of noise. The “decibel level” refers to how loud a particular sound is and tells you how much of a concern particular noise levels should be. Research shows that the typical construction site has a noise level that falls between about 80 and 90 decibels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assert that when you face exposure to levels that exceed 70 dB for an extended period of time, your risk of hearing loss increases.
Minimizing the noise risks you face in construction
Wearing ear protection is among the most effective ways to reduce your risk of hearing loss while working on a construction site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also recommends that construction industry employers set administrative and engineering controls to help protect workers’ ears.
While wearing ear plugs is an effective way to reduce your risk of hearing loss, how effective ear plugs are is going to depend on how well they fit your ears.