You do not need to be a musician to rely on your ears. Hearing is essential in many aspects of life. It lets you hear your child’s first laugh, a customer’s question, or the horn of a vehicle you need to get out the way of fast. Yet sometimes going to work can harm your hearing.
Some workplaces are noisier than others. For instance, if you work at an airstrip, you can expect more noise than working in a morgue. Yet, they all have one thing in common — your employer needs to keep you safe. So anytime something could hurt your ears, your employer needs to take steps to ensure it does not.
How loud is too loud for a workplace?
There are two ways that noise can damage your hearing. A one-off event such as a loud explosion could be enough to do it. Or hearing loss could occur due to continued high levels of noise over time. The latter is the most common cause of workplace hearing loss. You might not realize how loud your work environment is until it is too late.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says employers should limit employees’ exposure to noise to no more than 85 dBA averaged over an eight-hour working day. Yet, it is not that simple as the scale is not linear. They, therefore, recommend halving exposure time for every three dBA above 85 dBA. So, 88 dBA has a four hours maximum, 91dBA a two hours maximum and so on.
If you are worried about your hearing, get it checked out. You cannot reverse hearing loss, but you can claim workers’ compensation if your job caused it, and that will entitle you to the treatment you need to manage your life much more easily.