Workers in the construction industry or industries involving use of heavy machinery, are exposed to loud noises for prolonged time periods. This can eventually take a toll on their physical and mental health. According to the Government of Canada’s 2018 Health Report, continued exposure to loud noises in the workplace can result in stress, anxiety, noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus and high blood pressure.
Therefore, learning how to ensure the health and safety of your workers in noisy environments becomes all the more important.
Looking to protect your workers’ ears from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)? Here’s what you should know!
What Exactly Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?
Noise-induced hearing loss (NHI), is permanent hearing damage that occurs after being exposed to loud noises over a prolonged period. However, this type of hearing loss can also happen immediately, if you’re exposed to an extremely loud noise in. For example, if you’re directly exposed to the noise of an explosion.
Dangers of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
Noise-Induced hearing (NIHL) shouldn’t be taken lightly.It can pose a number of health hazards to those affected:
- It can cause inflammatory reactions within the brain.
- It results in higher levels of anxiety and irritability.
- The individual becomes more prone to infections.
- Sleep patterns may be disrupted.
Symptoms of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
Noise-induced hearing loss can result in the following symptoms in those exposed to loud noises:
- Can’t hear what’s on T.V without having to turn up the volume all the way.
- Unable to understand what the people are saying if they’re 3 feet away.
- All the sounds become muffled.
How to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)
Preventing your workers from noise-induced hearing loss (NHIL) requires a series of precautions on your part, and is as follows:
- Advise your workers to wear ear plugs and earmuffs while working. To reinforce safe working conditions, make these hearing protectors available free of cost.
- Introduce regular breaks to your workers’ schedule. This will ensure that the hair cells in their ears get time to recover.
- Try what you can to reduce the noise levels. For instance, see if it’s possible to choose machinery that’s quieter.
- Educate your workers on the dangers of being exposed to loud noises and how they can protect themselves.
Knowing how to protect your workers from loud noises in the workplace is an important safety skill. At Metro Safety, we’re committed to offering certified workplace safety training courses to employers and employees, since 2008.