This Hearing Awareness Week (25 Feb – 3 Mar) and World Hearing Day (3 Mar) focuses on preventing the anticipated rise in the number of people with hearing loss. One in six Australians is hearing impaired, deaf or has an ear disorder, with unaddressed hearing loss costing $750 billion.

Hearing loss can also lead to other issues such as being a barrier to education and social integration, loss of productivity and cognitive decline and depression (www.hearingawarenessweek.org.au).

Hearing loss injuries are preventable. What's too loud? >70dB OK. 70-90dB wear ear protection. 90-120dB harmful for more than 30 minutes. >120dB immediate damage.

Hearing loss injuries are preventable

In Australia, one third of the cases of hearing loss are caused by exposure to sound from either one-time exposure to an intense sound or continuous exposure to loud sounds over time.

The louder the sound is, the less time you can safely listen. And if a noise isn’t annoying it doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Reduce the risk of hearing loss injuries in your workplace

  • Limit the time your employees spend in noisy places and ensure they take regular breaks in quieter areas.
  • Provide personal protective equipment such as earmuffs or earplugs.
  • Make your workplace quieter by using sound dampeners or noise barriers.
  • Be aware that exposure to solvents or toxins and some drugs can increase the risk of hearing loss.

Resources

 

Source: Return to Work SA