by: Andy Chappa
The Jobsite’s Invisible Injury
"What Was That?"
How often do we ask that question? The truthful answer is too many times, especially as we get older. The exposure to excessive loud noises over the years has taken its toll on many of us. I have personally experienced some signs of hearing loss most of which are more noticeable in environments with lots of background noise such as a restaurant.
Here are some interesting facts:
- An estimated 242 million dollars is spent annually for workers compensation for hearing loss
- The maximum permissible exposure limit to noise is 90 decibels during an 8 hour day
- The instrument that measures sound levels is called a dosimeter or sound level meter. They can be worn by employees to measure and record the amount of noise exposed to in a day
- 58% of construction workers experience hearing impairment in both ears
- The average 25 year old carpenter has the hearing capacity of a 50 year old person that has not been exposed to excessive noise
The simple solution is to use hearing protection any time you are exposed to excessive noise.
I recently met up with an old college roommate that I have not seen in 15 years. His career has him visiting many food and industrial plants, however he never took hearing protection seriously. At the age of 52, he now needs hearing aids in each ear. After spending a weekend witnessing the challenges of the hearing aids I promised myself to never take my hearing for granted again and neither should you!