Excess noise levels at work is a major cause of hearing loss. Unless you wear adequate hearing protection, occupational hearing loss is inevitable in certain jobs. But what jobs pose the highest risks to your hearing? We look at the 3 jobs you should avoid.
Airport Ground Staff
Airport ground staff are subject to noise levels of up to 140 decibels, which is way above the recommended 90-decibel permisible exposure level. When they direct planes when taking off and landing, they are exposed to harmful noise levels that will damage their hearing.
Wearing hearing protection is compulsory in many countries, and especially crucial in jobs where noise levels cannot be reduced by any other means.
The noise levels on construction sites often exceed 80 decibels. This is particularly true when workers have to operate machinery such as a hammer drill which comes with a noise level of 120 decibels. Again, employers must provide ear protection to prevent occupational hearing loss.
Experts recommend that employers get all staff to wear ear protection, even if noise levels are acceptable at certain times.
Nightclub and Bar Workers
Noise levels at bars and nightclubs can reach as much as 115 decibels. As staff are unlikely to wear heavy hearing protection, they are at particularly high risk of suffering hearing damage. However, in certain countries, employers are now legally obliged to provide staff with earplugs.
Many other jobs pose risks too, including manufacturing jobs, entertainment industry jobs, factory or farm jobs, motorcycle courier jobs, and teaching jobs.
If you are in a job with excess noise levels, wearing ear protection may not be enough to prevent occupational hearing loss. Unless the hearing protection is of superior quality and checked and maintained on a regular basis, it may not fully protect you from occupational hearing loss.