Work-related hearing loss is a problem for many Florida employees in certain occupations. When noise is at unsafe levels in the workplace, hearing damage can happen gradually. Over time, a person’s hearing loss can become noticeable and put them at risk for other injuries.
Hearing loss can increase your risk of accidents
A study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in March 2018 showed that there is a correlation between levels of self-reported hearing loss and frequency of accidents. To conduct the study, researchers from Harvard Medical School analyzed data from 6.6 million adults in the U.S. between 2007 and 2015.
Researchers found that adults who described their hearing loss as minor were 60% more likely to suffer injuries than adults who had no hearing loss. Adults that said they had “moderate trouble” with their hearing were 70% more likely to be injured while adults that had “a lot of trouble” with their hearing were 90% more likely to be injured.
Hearing protects us from accidents
Many people take for granted the role that hearing plays in protecting us from catastrophic injuries and fatal accidents. People that can’t hear very well are missing a vital warning system that may let them know when a car is about to hit them from behind, for example. In a work environment, hearing allows us to detect alarm bells and other important sounds that may give us a warning of impending danger.
Other things to keep in mind
The study on hearing loss and accidents is not only a safety reminder for people who are already partially deaf. It is also a reminder to employers about the importance of maintaining a reasonably quiet work environment. A noisy work environment can damage workers’ hearing and drown out the sounds of alarms.