Most of us take our hearing for granted. But when something goes wrong with our hearing, we cannot expect medical science to fix it. Hearing problems are more likely in certain types of jobs, including farmers, construction workers, and factory workers.
Exposure to normal noise levels does not cause hearing loss. More often than not, hearing loss is caused by over exposure to high noise levels. Noise is measured in units called decibels. The higher the decibels, the louder the noise level is. A soft whisper is around 20 decibels, whereas a jet engine is about 140 decibels.
In the workplace, hearing protection is essential to reducing the noise level and protecting one's hearing. The law requires hearing protection for noises that are at 85 decibels or higher. Sounds over 120 decibels can cause hearing damage after even a short level of exposure.
There are number of different types of hearing protection. They are not all suitable for the same types of noise. For lower noise levels, disposable foam ear plugs may suffice, where ear muffs may be needed for louder noise levels. Not only equipment operators, but also those who work nearby, need to wear ear protection. If you work in a noisy area, be proactive and wear the appropriate hearing protection.