The construction industry has contributed to a significant health concern among its workforce – hearing loss. Many former construction workers now grapple with varying degrees of hearing impairment. This is often a consequence of prolonged exposure to loud machinery, equipment and construction-related activities.
This alarming trend underscores the importance of recognizing the occupational hazards construction workers face. It also highlights the importance of implementing proactive measures to protect hearing health.
Prolonged exposure to occupational noise
Construction sites are loud environments. Sounds generated by heavy machinery, power tools and construction activities are all common. Former construction workers often experience prolonged exposure to these occupational noises. This can cause gradual hearing damage over time. The cumulative effect of years spent working in such environments contributes to the prevalence of industry hearing loss.
Lack of adequate hearing protection
The potential for hearing loss in the construction industry is well-established. However, the consistent use of proper hearing protection remains a challenge. Many construction workers forego the use of hearing protection devices. This leaves them vulnerable to the long-term consequences of occupational noise exposure.
Cumulative nature of noise-induced hearing loss
Noise-induced hearing loss is often cumulative. This means that damage happens over time. Even low levels of noise can lead to irreversible hearing loss. This is especially likely when the exposure happens daily.
Per Occupational Health & Safety, almost 60% of former construction workers now have some form of hearing loss. By fostering a culture of health in the construction industry, employers can help reduce the long-term impact of occupational noise exposure.