Are your ears under threat in your workplace? In this article we'll look at some of the jobs that can contribute to hearing loss that you might not have expected to pose a risk.
Those working in noisy manufacturing plants, mines, military organisations, music venues and construction sites are usually well aware they have jobs that cause hearing loss and often either choose or are required to wear ear protection.
But what about jobs that involve spending time in places that hover around or above safe volume levels? What about the jobs you might not expect to cause hearing loss, but sometimes do? Let’s explore some of those…
Waiters and waitresses
Waiting tables seems like an innocuous enough job. But The Guardian tested the noise levels at two restaurants and found they both exceeded 90 decibels. That’s louder than a food blender and, over the course of a long shift, a lot of ear bashing. The situation is particularly troublesome in establishments where a roomful of diners are shouting over loud music.
Tube station assistants
The Guardian measured the New York City Subway at up to 96 decibels as trains pass through stations, so it is likely that similar noise levels are generated in underground networks throughout the world. If you find yourself on the platform regularly as a tube station assistant (or a passenger for that matter), you’re being exposed to a lot of noise.
Airport ground staff wear ear protection against noise levels of 140 decibels when standing within 50 metres of a jet engine, but similar precautions are rarely taken by those on board. German carrier Lufthansa performed tests and found its cabin crew were exposed to average noise levels of 80 decibels over the course of their shift. That would indicate they probably encounter much higher levels of noise if working on the tarmac, and during take-off and landing.
Working the land can often be seen as a hard, but ultimately peaceful occupation. In fact, farmers are often exposed to very high levels of noise. A tractor can produce up to 112 decibels, while other machinery is even louder. And a pen of squealing pigs has been measured at 100 decibels. At those sort of noise levels, ears need to be protected.
We all know that, if a vacuum cleaner is on, you can’t hear much else in the room. If cleaning is your occupation and you’re spending large periods of the day in close proximity to a noisy vacuum, your hearing might be affected.
What can you do about it?
If you’re worried that your job might be damaging your hearing, you need to start protecting your ears. Flare Audio’s revolutionary ISOLATE® ear protectors block direct sound from entering your ear, but still allow you to hear details in sound through bone conduction.
That means you will be protected from dangerous noise, but also from the equally dangerous discombobulation of total silence. Stay aware, stay in communication with your colleagues and customers, but stay in control of the level of noise to which you’re exposed.