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Workplace noise can compromise your health and hearing

There is something to be said for a little peace and quiet, you think as you head once again into your loud workplace. Like many New Jersey residents who do not enjoy the luxury of a quiet job, you wonder if there can be long-term effects of noise to your health and sanity. You might also be interested in learning whether workers’ compensation applies to the effects of a loud profession.

Many industries are typically associated with a high level of noise. These can include jobs in construction, mining, factories, the military, firefighting, health care or law enforcement. However, you do not have to work in one of these professions to suffer from a loud work environment. A job where there is constant chattering or background noise can disrupt your concentration and make you feel irritable and anxious. The following examples might apply:

  • A child care job where children are usually yelling, fighting, crying or screaming
  • A position in an office where your co-workers often loudly chat, gossip, laugh or bicker near your workspace
  • A job in a store, restaurant or bar where the music is loud and people need to raise their voices to be heard

The health risks that can come from noisy jobs are widely varied, reports the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. If you work in a factory where the machinery is so loud you need to wear ear protection, you could eventually begin to suffer from tinnitus or hearing loss. Other jobs that are moderately loud or have constant background noise can have adverse mental or emotional effects, such as nervousness, depression or exhaustion.

Your employers may address noise issues by providing hearing protection, employee education and regular hearing checks. For a job where the noise is detrimental to your concentration and mental health, you might speak with your supervisor and co-workers about ways to reduce unnecessary noise and create a more hospitable work area. When a workplace issue affects your physical and emotional health, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation.

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