hand holding safety glasses

Preventing Workplace Hearing Loss

Sunday, 3 March, is World Hearing Day dedicated to raising awareness about preventing deafness and hearing loss. This provides an excellent platform for Global Skills to advocate for hearing health in workplaces, emphasising the significance of ear care and promoting awareness.

Employers have a vital role in reducing the risk of noise-induced injury. This includes identifying noise hazards, conducting noise assessments, implementing suitable control measures, providing personal protective equipment and regularly testing noise levels.

However, responsibility for hearing health doesn’t solely rest on employers. Each of us must also take proactive steps to protect our hearing. Exposure to loud noises in the workplace is a leading cause of preventable hearing loss. Whether it’s a short, intense noise like a jet taking off (130 decibels) or prolonged exposure to noises like a jackhammer (120 decibels) or a tractor (100 decibels), prolonged exposure to sounds over 85 decibels can permanently damage hearing. To safeguard our hearing, it’s crucial to limit exposure to loud noise, take listening breaks, wear earplugs or earmuffs, and undergo regular hearing checks. Consistent monitoring through regular hearing tests is essential for detecting early signs of hearing loss which enables us to maintain healthy hearing for longer.

If you experience common symptoms of hearing loss such as asking people to repeat themselves, struggling in noisy environments, excessively turning up TV or music volume, difficulty hearing on the phone, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), or feeling tired or stressed from listening, don’t hesitate to consult a GP or book an appointment directly with a hearing clinic – no referral is necessary.

For more information on hearing health in the workplace, visit https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/safety-topic/hazards/noise