Industrial Hearing Loss FAQs

What is industrial hearing loss?

Industrial hearing loss is described as a gradual onset injury, as work-related hearing loss injuries occur over an extended period of time, sometimes many years. Therefore, whilst this type of hearing loss can be present during employment, in many cases it isn’t identified by the worker until many years after exposure.

What are the main causes of work-related hearing loss?

Hearing protection hasn’t always been a mandatory requirement, or practical option, for individuals working in noisy jobs. Therefore, these individuals are highly susceptible to noise-induced hearing loss – also referred to as industrial deafness.

Which workers are more at risk of industrial deafness?

Individuals working in industries such as construction, engineering, mining, manufacturing, forestry, trucking will inevitably be regularly exposed to noise over 85dB and in some cases much louder and therefore more at risk of suffering from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

How many people are affected by occupational hearing loss?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that there are 22 Million Americans with industrial deafness.

Why should I treat industrial hearing loss?

Whilst this type of hearing impairment is irreversible, the condition can be rehabilitated with hearing devices. The John Hopkins Medical Institute has detailed some concerning consequences of untreated hearing loss, these being:

  • Auditory Deprivation – the eventual inability to hear certain injured frequencies ever again
  • Depression – as a result of social isolation by the inability to hear
  • Early onset of Dementia

Why do certain tools cause hearing loss?

Studies have shown that these tools produce very high noise levels and even short exposure to these noises can damage your hearing.

Table showing noise levels of commonly used tools