NIOSH Unveils New Study on Hearing Protection

Do you regularly wear hearing protection when exposed to hazardous noise at work? The odds are you don’t—and neither do your coworkers. A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that 53% of noise-exposed workers didn’t consistently use hearing protection when exposed to hazardous occupational noise.1


NIOSH Unveils New Study on Hearing Protection

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.

Audiologist Marni Novick Los Gatos, CA

Dr. Marni Novick

Founder & Audiologist

Marni Novick, AuD, is founder of Silicon Valley Hearing, Inc., which opened its doors in 2014, with the promise of delivering honest and affordable hearing healthcare, along with exceptional customer service to her valued patients.

About Dr. Novick