Noise in workplaces has been a problem for years. Even though much has been done to deal with the problem, it still exists. Some types of industry have a naturally higher level of noise e.g. the metal industry, making metal workers more at risk.
According to a survey among members of the Danish Industry Association, noise was ranked in the top three of the most serious health and safety problems at work.
The number of hearing disorders reported to the National Board of Industrial Injuries in Denmark has increased by almost 40% over a six-year period. Among these reports, nearly half were recognised as work-related hearing loss.
Reluctant to report
The risk of developing hearing loss starts at a daily noise exposure of 85dB for eight hours. The risk increases the higher the noise becomes and the more hours a person is exposed to the noise. For example, two hours of noise at 91dB constitutes a daily exposure to noise of 85dB for eight hours.
The survey, conducted by the Danish Industry Association, showed that many Danish workers work in noise equivalent to the noise from a lawnmower, approximately 90dB.
Despite an increase of 40% in the number of hearing disorders reported from 2006 to 2012, the Danish Industry Association assess that more workers are suffering from hearing loss. Often, workers hesitate to report work-related hearing loss.
Using proper hearing protection devices is the key to lessening the risk of hearing difficulties when in a noisy environment.