Top 10 hearing loss related things you should be aware of in the Workplace.

August 23, 2016

With over 28 Million Americans having some sort of hearing loss there is a very high chance that every worker will have some degree of impact from hearing loss in the Workplace.

Hearing Loss is considered to be the fastest growing disability not only in North America but in the world! In North America approximately 1 in 10 people have some degree of hearing loss and the older we get the higher that statistic becomes, rising to 50% in people 65 and over. Let’s examine the top 10 hearing related things that you should be aware of in the Workplace.

1. Fire or other emergency warnings.Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 1.06.39 PM

As most business or job sites rely on audible warning signs for emergency situations such as Fire warnings any worker that has hearing impairment could be at risk of not hearing emergency warning signals. Not only could this affect the hearing impaired worker but also anyone who now needs to take on that role of making sure all workers have been alerted. Understanding the high percentage of hearing impaired workers or even workers wearing hearing protection devices that impair their hearing while at work should prompt Business Owners and Employers to also have sight warning signals such as red flashing lights situated in areas and ways that workers can see them while on the job

2. Communication and understanding instructions given.

For safety again and also being able to complete the job correctly being able to communicate effectively is of highest importance. Many hearing impaired workers or those wearing hearing protection devices will not be able to hear certain frequencies of sound. This may give the worker the illusion that he has heard what has been communicated but if they have missed out on certain frequencies such as high pitched or soft sounds they may also miss out on some crucial words or conversations and therefore not fully understand or misunderstand instructions or communication with co-workers or supervisors. Learn more about superior hearing protection while enabling workers to communicate clearly with each other.

3. Increased stress levels with increased sound.

For many workers high frequencies of sound or even bombardment of many types of soundsScreen Shot 2016-08-23 at 1.06.56 PMcan dramatically increase their stress levels. Employers should be aware of the impact sound can have on certain employees and offer some sound reducing or sound barrier settings to enable workers to work in a less stressful environment where they can better concentrate and be more productive. Workers under increased stress have higher sick time, are often less productive and have higher risk of accidents or work related injuries.

4. Loss of qualified workers.

With the increase in hearing loss as people age the workplace may be affected by workers either retiring early due to hearing loss or employers may be demoting or not realizing their employees true potential as poorer communication and lack of understanding due to hearing impairment affect their employees work negatively.

5. Increased Workers Compensation or Insurance Claims.

With hearing loss increasing along with the age of workers, the chance of Workers
Compensation Claims or Insurance Claims also increases as hearing loss may well be due to concerns in the workplace. Learn more about Cost & Compliance. 

6. Increased work related accidents.

The incidence of work related accidents may rise with increased stress amongst workers or increased hearing impairment that can be a contributing factor to workplace injuries.

7. Decreased workplace effectiveness.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 1.04.41 PMSome jobs require a high level of hearing capability in order to correctly perform the job. For example hearing a certain noise from machinery or equipment can notify the worker how to best use the equipment. Shifting a gear shift or knowing when a piece of machinery is in need of repair can often be noise induced warnings that a hearing impaired worker or a worker with noise blocking hearing protection devices may not hear.

8. Alienation of co-workers or workplace discrimination or harassment.

Often a hearing impaired person becomes more withdrawn as communication becomes moreHearing lossdifficult or less enjoyable. There may also be a misunderstanding that someone is not smart enough to understand directions or communication when it may be the person simply has not properly heard. This can all lead to more stress in the workplace if alienation, discrimination or harassment become a part of the workplace.

9. Hearing test screening.

To diminish the concerns of hearing impairment negatively affecting the employees work, Business Owners and Employers should recognize the importance of on-the-job hearing test screening. Not only for the workplace that is noise producing but also as a screening tool for every company to improve their workers performance and contentment in the workplace. It also shows corporate caring and fosters Employers respect for their Employees and Employees respect for their Employers. Learn more about Training and Fit testing. 

10. Promoting awareness of hearing loss concerns.

The more awareness of hearing loss that is promoted within the workplace will also spill out into the community so that people can take action to protect their hearing and prevent hearing loss or further hearing loss. If our workplaces can bring awareness into the lives of millions of people this could be a tremendous turning point to lessen the statistics of increasing hearing loss as we age. The impact globally can be exciting! Learn more about Hearing Conservation. 

Let’s all work together to impact the workplaces of the world!



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