A new study published in the April 10, 2014, edition of Canadian Occupational Health e-magazine, finds that noise induced hearing loss and exposure to loud noise on the job may cause workers to miss danger warnings and result in a higher number of workplace accidents.

Study Findings

  • For every decibel of hearing loss, the risk of hospitalization due to work related injury increased by 1%.
  • Workers exposed to noise levels above 100dB had almost 2.5 times the risk of being hospitalized for work related injuries compared to workers not exposed to loud noise.
  • Workers who already have a hearing loss are also more likely to be seriously hurt.
  • For workers with both a severe hearing loss AND high noise exposure, the risk of being hospitalized with a work related injury is 3.6 times that of workers with neither condition.
  • Exposure to high noise levels increases fatigue, decreases concentration and impairs the quality of communication. These can be contributing factors in workplace injuries and absences.

Study Background

The study was led by Serge-Andre Girard, who is a researcher with the National Public Health Institute of Quebec in Quebec City. His research looked at records for 46,550 male workers over nearly 20 years, and found that 1,670 had been hospitalized for work-related injuries within five years of being given hearing tests. The researchers compared the number of injuries to worker’s levels of hearing loss indicated by the tests and their exposure to loud noises in the workplace.
In an e-mail to Reuters, Mr. Girard states that “noise induced hearing loss is a public health issue…despite considerable energy devoted to the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss, it remains a significant problem. From an occupational safety perspective, work-related injuries remain an important issue that generates significant costs for businesses, workers and compensation organizations.”

How you can protect your employees from hearing loss and workplace accidents

A complete Hearing Conservation Program will protect your employees and eliminate – not reduce – eliminate, noise induced hearing loss. A complete hearing conservation programs include:

  • Noise & Dosimeter Surveys
  • Mobile Audiometric Screenings
  • Education, Training, and Consulting
  • Custom hearing protection
  • In-house medical supervision & accredited technicians
  • Proactive Management Report with comprehensive demographics, trend analysis, and proactive action recommendations.
Noise-induced hearing loss is the leading occupational disease in North America, ranking as one of the most costly and frequently reported compensation claims. Protect your workplace from avoidable employee hearing loss, workplace accidents, and costly compensation cases and implement a hearing conservation program today. Workplace Medical Corp. is hosting one-day hearing conservation seminars in London and Ottawa. For more information on the London conference click here. For more information on the Ottawa conference click here. To contact us to learn more about Workplace Medical’s hearing conservation program click here. To view the original article click here.