This is an alarming statistic, as over 22 million U.S. workers currently face exposure to hazardous noise at work. Younger workers aged 18–25, females and smokers were the least likely to wear hearing protection devices (HPDs).
Those who worked in industries with the least noise exposure (like finance and social assistance) were less likely to wear HPDs. However, just because exposure to hazardous noise is less common in their line of work does not mean that there are no instances where they could benefit from using hearing protection. Further education on the potential for damage and the advantages of using HPDs should be discussed in those industries.
Surprisingly, some industries where noise is a well-recognized hazard were found to have a high prevalence of HPD nonuse, as well. These include agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting (74%) and construction (52%).
This is another indicator that education and training about the importance of proper and consistent use of HPDs are critical. Additionally, workers need to have access to HPDs that are both comfortable and still allow them to communicate effectively with their coworkers and hear what they need to in order to perform their jobs safely.
Preserve Your Hearing and Protect Your Ears
If you suspect you may already be experiencing work-related or noise-induced hearing loss, Silicon Valley Hearing can help. We offer comprehensive hearing evaluations, effective hearing solutions and customized hearing protection to prevent further damage. Schedule an appointment by contacting us at (408) 540-7128 today.
1 Green, D. R., Masterson, E. A., & Themann, C. L. (2021). Prevalence of hearing protection device non‐use among noise‐exposed US workers in 2007 and 2014. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajim.23291