Can You Hear Me Now? A Guide To Occupational Hearing Loss


People who were born with the full ability to hear depend on this sense to live life. There are some people who take on jobs that put the ability to hear at risk. Unfortunately, this sometimes comes down to a decision about which is more important — financial support or being able to hear.

When you work at a job that comes with a risk of occupational hearing loss, there are usually safety procedures to follow to reduce this risk. The safety procedures aren’t always effective, so some workers might end up with a substantial hearing loss.

Occupations associated with hearing loss

Almost any job that requires you to work around considerable noise can lead to some hearing difficulties. There are five industries that are commonly associated with hearing loss. These include the construction, manufacturing, agriculture, military, and entertainment industries.

In all of these cases, wearing proper ear protection can help to reduce the likelihood that you will suffer from hearing loss. However, this isn’t always possible. For example, wearing earplugs might not be possible if you are working as a soundcheck operator at a heavy metal concert.

A few interesting statistics

More than one-third of all farmers have measurable hearing loss, which is likely due to the loud machinery they workaround on a consistent basis.

When it comes to the military, hearing loss is an epidemic, which is due in part to the nature of the job during combat. Some explosives can reach 180 decibels when they explode.

People who work in bars or nightclubs, which is part of the entertainment industry, are often exposed to music that is louder than 100 decibels, such as thumping bass in club music.

Construction industry workers, which also include miners and carpentry workers, are often exposed to machinery that is very loud. A hammer drill operates at around 115 decibels.

Hearing loss in the manufacturing industry usually occurs within the first decade of an employee’s time in the industry. Around eight out of every 10 employees in this industry have some measurable hearing loss.

Taking action after hearing loss

Workers who suffer from hearing loss on the job might opt to pursue a workers comp claim. This can help to cover the medical costs associated with hearing loss. It might also help to provide partial wage replacement while you are unable to work. If you are facing hearing loss due to your job duties, make sure that you consider your options and learn your rights regarding what you can do.

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