Prolonged exposure to noise at work could cause damage to the ears causing occupational deafness and what is sometimes referred to as acoustic shock. According to research, this is the most common job related injury. Shockingly, many employees do not realize they have the defect until the effects have become adverse. Early detection of hearing loss makes treatment a lot easier.
Due to the alarming number of victims, regulations that protects employees from suffering from high noise levels in their working levels have been put in place. Not only is noise harmful to the ears, but also contributes to higher chances of accident happening at work. An employee may be shouting for help but noise inhibits the coworkers from hearing.
According to the regulation noise above 80dB is regarded as harmful. This rule does not exclude any profession despite some work environments like mining, construction and engineering having inevitable noise generation.
All employers are supposed to provide efficient ear protection and train their employees about risks imposed to them by noise. They should also find measures to lower noise above 80dB. They are otherwise held liable for any damages caused. Employees ought to follow procedures to avoid posing liabilities to their employer.
It is always easier for the individual to take caution since controlling the noise is at times impossible. Using hearing protection equipment is therefore recommended. You could see an audiologist for professional advice. In most cases, you will take a hearing test. As per the results, the best equipment will be administered. Usually, ear-muffs and earplugs are given to protect your ear drums. Be sure to see your audiologist regularly for checkups.
Always look out for signs like migraines, high blood pressure, tinnitus and heart disease aggravation that could be an effect of loud noise.
The employer could also consider some preventive measures where possible. For instance:
- They could enclose noisy working machinery within a sound proof enclosure.
- Noisy machinery can be placed or moved away from workers.
- Before purchasing machinery, obtain the noise data. The level of noise should be relevant.
- Enhancing job rotation to avoid exposure to specific individuals.
- Exhaust systems could be fitted with silencers.
In case the employer fails to meet their responsibility and as a result an employee suffers, the employee is entitled to make an occupational deafness claim. The employer should compensate for the losses incurred as a result of their negligence. You could get guidance from a lawyer on how to make an injury at work claim.