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BLOG: Did you know excessive noise exposure can affect much more than your ears?
Posted 24th August 2018

Prolonged noise exposure in the workplace could have serious health implications on your ears, but did you know exposure to loud or persistent noises can also have an affect on your overall mental and physical health too?

 

Noise around 85 decibels (dBA), which is loud enough that you must raise your voice to be heard by someone three feet away can damage your hearing after repeated exposures lasting eight hours or more.

 

It’s when noises reach 95 dBA or more, which is loud enough that you must shout to be heard by someone at arm’s length - can put your hearing at risk in less than an hour. Bulldozers, chain saws, and other typical equipment used in the manufacturing, fabrication, welding and construction industries all operate around 95 dBA.

 

Loud noises can also hurt much more than just your ears, here are some other factors to bear in mind if you work in a noisy environment.

 

Stress and high blood pressure

In addition to damaging hearing, loud noise can cause other physical and psychological conditions including stress. Often the short-term effects of such stress go unnoticed or are blamed on other things.

 

Noise can influence the cardiovascular system, resulting in an increase in blood pressure and the release of catecholamines in the blood. An increased level of catecholamines in the blood is associated with stress.

 

Effect on pregnancy

Exposure of pregnant workers to high noise levels can affect an unborn child. Research suggests that prolonged exposure of the unborn child to high noise levels during pregnancy may influence a child’s hearing later on in life and that low frequencies have a greater potential for causing harm.

 

Accidents and injuries    

Other impacts of occupational noise on the health and productivity of a worker include reduced productivity, which can interfere with communication and concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents and injuries by making it difficult to hear warning signals.

 

What can be done?

Fortunately, workplace noise exposure can be reduced, and occupational hearing loss entirely prevented with today’s hearing loss prevention strategies and technology.

 

It’s very important for employers to have their workers assessed regularly for hearing loss, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and the benefits of workplace health and wellness programs and occupational health assessments.

 

To find out if the levels of noise in your workplace are above the advised health and safety recommendations call Euro Environmental for Occupational Noise assessments to be carried out: 0870 7019170

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