Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in the Service Industry
You may think that hearing loss is a problem only for construction or manufacturing workers, but WorkSafeBC is warning that workers in the service and entertainment industries are at elevated risk too. The noise level in event spaces, restaurants, and bars can often reach 85 decibels—the level at which regular exposure can lead to hearing loss.
Many workers are reluctant to use hearing protection, thinking it will hinder their ability to hear their customers and coworkers. In fact, the opposite is true. When the noise level reaches 90 decibels or higher, proper hearing protection blocks out the din and allows voices to come through more clearly. And over the long term, it prevents you from becoming one of the thousands of workers with noise-related hearing loss.
Once your hearing is gone, you cannot get it back, and hearing aids cannot come close to providing the quality of hearing you once enjoyed. Please remember to protect your ears!
If noise levels exceed 85 decibels over an eight-hour shift, employers must have a noise control and hearing conservation program that includes noise measurement, hearing protection, and annual hearing tests. If you have concerns about the noise levels in your workplace, talk to your health and safety representative or your steward.
WorkSafeBC has three new videos, What Noise Does to Your Ears, Intensity and Duration of Noise, and How to Use Earplugs. It also published a document titled Preventing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss at Work. Visit youtube.com/worksafebc to learn more.