According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 20,000 hearing loss cases that occurred at work resulted in permanent hearing loss. If this could be prevented through simple protection gear and educational training, hearing damage wouldn’t have to affect the 30 million American workers it does.
Luckily, it is preventable.
Learn the facts about hearing loss, and some simple steps to improve your hearing conservation practices.
This way, everyone – from employers to employees – wins!
The Startling Statistics About Workplace Hearing Loss
When hearing loss occurs and is left untreated, employees suffer in many ways—and so does their employer:
- Hearing loss left untreated demonstrated a higher rate of unemployment.
- Untreated hearing loss can “decrease one’s annual income by as much as $30,000, as reported by the Hearing Health Foundation.
- 34 percent of those workers exposed to loud noises report to voluntarily skip hearing protection!
Some of the loudest and riskiest noises resulting in hearing loss in the workplace include:
- Air hammer
- Disk sander
- Industrial vacuum
- Running engine
- Electric drill
- Car horn.
3 Immediate Ways to Prevent Hearing Loss in the Workplace
So, how can you prevent hearing loss from occurring in the workplace especially when you have hundreds if not thousands of employees to manage? Through a series of simple, preventative steps. Here’s 3 ways to do it:
1. Give Your Employees an Education!
Keeping employees safe is about implementing two things: safety education, and employee accountability. Make sure your employees know the value behind hearing protection.
Give them the tools they need to staying safe at work with the proper protection gear. In addition, give your supervisors the role of limiting loud noises.
Some ways you can do this are by: keeping employees as far away from the noise as possible, isolating loud machines being used as much as possible, and asking employees if they require extra hearing protection.
2. Equipment Control
Don’t just hold your employees accountable for their safety – hold your supervisors accountable, too. Delegate the responsibility of doing a ‘safety check’ for the equipment used. Do any tools need to be replaced or modified?
Which ones need to be repaired? You can even run the noisiest machines during the shifts that occupy the fewest amount of people. Now, take it one step further! Can you delegate any areas of your office/warehouse for employees to work in a quiet area – away from the noise?
Giving employees this opportunity and flexibility to work quietly won’t just help to minimize hearing damage, it will make them feel valued and cared for. (There’s no price on the value of that!)
3. The (Economic) Cost of Hearing Loss
There’s a steep price to pay when your employees don’t follow safety protocol. They don’t just lose their hearing – they become one of the 30 million Americans to suffer from hearing loss and to do their job safely.
Implementing hearing conservation is the key to keeping healthcare and workers comp fees down, while your workforce stays on top. Axiom’s occupational health program protects your company’s most valuable assets – your employees.
Let us help you provide a safe and healthy workplace for everyone, for the long term. Contact us today and discover how easy protecting your employees can be!
Heather lives and writes by the motto, “No coffee, no workee,” and is passionate about helping others live a happier and healthier life. When she’s not writing away, you can find her playing basketball with her two sons, planning her next getaway “somewhere tropical” or trying out a new recipe with chocolate as the main ingredient.
Find out more about our Injury Case Management services or our Occupational Health Programs.