Some people are born with hearing problems, while others slowly lose their hearing over time. There are many causes of hearing damage and loss. Hearing is an essential sensory skill, along with your eyesight, taste, touch and smell.
Around 17,000 people suffer from hearing damage caused by excessive noise at work in the UK. Some have deafness, while others experience ringing in the ears and various other hearing conditions. Many people work in loud environments day in and day out – from music venues to construction sites. High-quality ear defenders can protect your ears and prevent long-term hearing damage.
Let’s take a closer look at how some professions carry auditory risks.
It’s no secret that construction sites are loud. Between machinery and heavy materials, there is always a drilling or banging noise somewhere. Construction workers are often in close proximity to these machines or even inside the vehicle. They are exposed to constant noise and vibration that can exceed the recommended decibel levels of 85dB.
When you leave a concert, everyone is shouting, and their ears are ringing. Music artists experience that level of noise all the time – especially when they’re on tour. The noise will usually be off the charts if they play to a large venue. There may be an orchestra or live band behind them and thousands of screaming fans. They are usually stood next to huge speakers blasting out their music. It’s a fantastic experience that can also cause permanent hearing damage for musicians. In fact, many famous artists are known to suffer from tinnitus – including Chris Martin, Bono, Will.I.Am, Bob Dylan and many more.
Airport staff are often exposed to excessive noise from loud vehicles with powerful engines. Airport ground control staff and maintenance crews experience high levels of noise on a daily basis. They should be provided with hearing protection on the job. Ground control staff often wear high visibility jackets and a large pair of ear defenders. They are protecting their ears, not listening to the latest Adele album.
Your ear protection needs to fit well so it will stay in position the entire time. A banded fit is more adaptable and can go behind the neck or below the chin with a helmet. You are far more likely to wear ear protection if it’s comfortable and well-fitting.
Make sure your ear protection is fully certified with CE markings or EN, ISO and BS codes. Your equipment should be the necessary safety and performance standards.
If you work in a profession that may put you at risk it is crucial to remain vigilant of the early signs of hearing loss, and see a doctor if you’re worried about your ears