According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 17% of employed Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels at their jobs. One in five of these workers will develop permanent hearing damage.
In most cases, people with jobs that cause hearing loss can’t avoid using noisy equipment.
Sometimes quieter options don’t even exist. Experts thus recommend investing in hearing protection. This is almost always the cheapest solution, yet for many workers, it isn’t enough.
If you get offered hearing protection at your place of work, take it. While it might make you less productive at first, noise protection will do a lot to ensure your long-term health.
Which are the most damaging jobs that cause hearing loss?
Four Occupations with Hazardous Noise Levels
- Military work. Many soldiers suffer from hearing damage due to explosions, noisy equipment, and gunfire. Noise can also harm paramedics and service personnel. Among US veterans, tinnitus and hearing loss are the two most frequent health issues.
- Construction and mining. Because of the equipment that they use, people who work in these fields deal with a constant, damaging level of noise. While this is a well-known issue, employers should do more to address it.
- Factory work. Almost 80% of people who work in manufacturing end up exposed to dangerous noise levels. Luckily, there is a tendency for improvement in this field, since new factory equipment may not produce as much noise as the old equipment did.
- Agriculture. In addition to the damaging exposure to noise from tractors and other equipment, people who work with livestock may need to rely on their hearing to be able to do their jobs safely.
Of course, these are far from the only jobs that cause hearing loss. In most cases, some regulations protect workers. However, these aren’t always adequate or realistic.
Construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and military service are just some of the occupations that put workers at risk of hearing loss. If your job involves damaging noise levels, make sure to find out more about workplace safety. In particular, learn all you can about prevention.