World Hearing Day – March 3, 2024

World Hearing Day

March 3rd is the World Health Organization’s World Hearing Day! Supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Hearing Day raises awareness on preventing hearing loss and deafness. In 2024, the key topics the CDC touches on are:

  1. Ear and hearing problems are some of the most common in our community.
  2. More than 60% of ear and hearing problems can be addressed through your Primary Care Physician.
  3. The integration of ear and hearing care into your annual physician visits is possible through additional training at the primary care level, and doing so will help our community and others.

To read more from the CDC, click here.

In the health and safety world, we constantly stress the importance of Occupational Health and Safety on construction sites, in mills, in an industrial setting, and on many other job sites across many industries we work in daily. As we have mentioned in a previous blog post, the main difference between health hazards and safety hazards is that safety hazards are more easily recognized because often you can spot them with your own eyes. Health hazards are sometimes disguisable until long-term effects cause major problems. One of these long-term health hazards is hearing loss from noise exposure. Did you know that noise-induced hearing loss is the most common work-related ‘injury’? Each year, 30 million United States workers are exposed to noise that is loud enough to damage their hearing. According to NIOSH, 10 million of these workers suffer from noise-induced hearing loss.

Construction is Noisy

Depending on the scope of work, many job sites include equipment and vehicles that are louder than normal. Because workers are accustomed to working on these sites and hearing these loud noises daily, often for a prolonged period of time, they may not notice quite how loud they truly are. Although personal protective equipment (PPE) such as earmuffs are required, they have a reputation for being bothersome to a worker, slowing down progress, and are an obstacle for communication with other workers. Though these “excuses” are just short-term annoyances, the long-term effects of a noisy job site are sometimes permanent.

Health Effects of Noise Pollution

  1. Sleep disturbance
  2. Balance impairment
  3. Depression
  4. Cardiovascular Disease
  5. Hypertension
  6. Tinnitus- a constant “ringing in the ear” which is incurable
  7. Hearing loss
    1. no cure
    1. reduces the clarity of sound, not just volume
    1. hearing aids are not always effective
    1. strain on communication & relationships
      1. isolation
      1. loneliness
      1. depression
      1. loss of memory
      1. contribute to safety hazards
        1. i.e. operating/hearing vehicles/driving, warning signs

Audiometric Testing

If there is not a curable solution for deafness, how can we detect hearing loss to prevent it?

Amerisafe Group’s Occupational Health Department offers mobile audiometric testing services for all kinds of clients nationwide. Our portable audiometer and new noise reduction enclosure allow us to provide an accurate measurement of your hearing level. The audiometer has the capability to merge previous data with annual hearing test results. Amerisafe’s Industrial Hygiene experts can then create a custom program tailored to your workplace to protect your workers from hearing loss and deafness.

Trades Affected by Hearing Loss

  • Construction
  • Carpentry
  • Power Tool Operation
  • Heavy Equipment Operation
  • Saw/Drill/Grinder Operation
  • Iron Work
  • Sheet Metal Work
  • Welding
  • Landscaping
  • Sand/Abrasive Blasting

About Amerisafe Group

Amerisafe Group provides comprehensive occupational health and safety services for a diverse range of industries, nationwide. With expertise in occupational health, safety consulting, industrial hygiene, rescue, and training, our experienced consultants handle health and safety issues of any scope or size. We take pride in our ability to understand each client’s unique needs and objectives to provide customized solutions that improve workplace safety and health. As a versatile safety partner, Amerisafe Group helps clients across a wide variety of sectors establish effective safety programs and foster a strong culture of safety. Our cross-trained consultants are committed to advancing the goals and priorities of every client we work with. To learn more, contact us today.