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Employers: protect employers, yourselves from noise related injuries

According to a recent study from the National Public Health Institute of Quebec, regular exposure to high levels of noise in the workplace can contribute both to work-related hearing loss and workplace accidents. The study, which looked specifically at the impact of routine exposure to 100 decibels of noise, found that those in such work environments were over twice as likely to be hospitalized for work injuries.

Workers who were exposed to over 100 decibels of noise on a regular basis were found to have nearly 2.5 times the risk of hospitalization due to workplace injury. Risk of hospitalization also increases along with hearing loss. The reasons for these observations are plain: higher noise levels prevent communication between workers, harm concentration levels, and put workers at risk of failing to notice safety hazards.

The U.S. National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health recommends that employers routinely conduct noise assessments and monitor workers’ hearing to detect any problems. Workers’ who already have hearing impairment should be monitored especially well, given that they are already at higher risk for injury.

Although employees injured because of noise-related work injured can be compensated by workers’ comp, conscientious companies know that it is important to manage noise levels and provide hearing protection for workers routinely exposed to noise on a regular basis. Putting noise protections and other safety procedures in place can often be done at a reasonable cost, and this can help avoid unnecessary accidents.

Employers who have questions about how they can protect their employees and themselves from the costs of noise-related injuries should consult with an attorney who specialized in workers’ compensation defense

Source: Reuters, “Loud noise may raise risk for workplace injuries,” Shereen Jegtvig, April 2, 2014. 

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