Occupational noise-induced hearing loss, primarily caused by high noise exposure, is the most common work-related illness in the United States. About 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous occupational noise. It is a permanent but entirely preventable condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Source: Cleveland Clinic
Hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the U.S. Hearing impairment is hearing loss that impacts day-to-day activities. Here are the top industries most affected by hearing loss, according to the CDC:
- The mining sector has the highest prevalence of workers with any hearing impairment and with moderate or worse impairment. 17% of mining workers whose hearing tests were included had one of the six levels of impairment, while 3% had moderate or worse impairment.
- Construction is the second industry, with 16% of workers testing positive for any impairment while 3% had moderate or worse impairment.
- Manufacturing rounds out the top 3, with 14% of workers testing positive for any impairment, while 2% had moderate or worse impairment.
A study conducted by the CDC, “Hearing Impairment Among Noise-Exposed Workers,” shows the impact on quality of life was measured by calculating disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). DALYs represented the number of healthy years lost because of hearing impairment. This study found that 2.5 healthy years were lost each year for every 1,000 noise-exposed U.S. workers because of hearing impairment. Mining, construction, and manufacturing workers lost more healthy years than workers in other industry sectors.
While hearing loss is permanent, prevention is the key.
Audiology exams are an important part of occupational health. Employers can take steps to prevent damage before it happens. Conduct hearing check-ups for employees by scheduling them for regular audiology tests to monitor their hearing health.
At MedPhysicals Plus, we offer audiology tests here in Alaska for employers looking to protect their employees from hearing loss. Our audiology testing services can help businesses comply with OSHA regulations regarding noise exposure and hearing protection, identify employees who may be at risk of hearing loss, and prevent further damage.
Schedule an audiology test with MedPhysicals Plus at https://medphysicalsplus.com/audiology/.