Occupational hearing loss is a widespread problem. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, about 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous occupational noise each year. Additionally, over 30 million workers in the U.S work with or near ototoxic chemicals that can damage hearing. Here are some additional statistics on occupational hearing loss and its repercussions.
1. About 24% of the hearing difficulty among U.S. workers is caused by occupational exposures
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost a quarter of hearing issues experienced by U.S. workers can be attributed to occupational exposures. These exposures include hazardous levels of noise and contact with ototoxic chemicals.
2. Over 20,000 workplace hearing loss cases occur yearly, many resulting in permanent hearing loss
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 20,000 workplace hearing loss cases occur yearly. Many of these cases result in permanent hearing loss. Because of this, providing workers with adequate hearing protection is of the utmost importance
3. 34% of noise-exposed workers report not wearing hearing protection
Another CDC statistic reveals that 34% of workers exposed to hazardous noise are not provided hearing protection. In order to reduce the number of occupational hearing loss cases, it is critical that employers provided noise-induced workers with appropriate hearing protection.
4. The adjusted risk of hearing loss across all industries combined decreased by 46% over 25 years
Not all these stats are negative. In fact, the CDC reported that the adjusted risk of occupational hearing loss across all industries has decreased 46% over 25 years. This can be attributed to the development of more effective hearing protection and increased awareness of hearing hazards in the workplace.
5. Mining (17%), construction (16%), and manufacturing (14%) industries have the highest prevalence of workers with hearing loss
Unsurprisingly, these noisy industries have the highest prevalence of workers with hearing loss, according to the CDC. These workers are exposed to high levels of noise from loud machinery daily. Because of this, it is important that they are provided with hearing protection and become more aware of how long they are spending around loud equipment.
These are just five of many statistics that prove occupational hearing loss is a problem and that steps are being taken to reduce the prevalence of it. By continuing to spread awareness and provide our workforce with the proper protection, we can help continue to drive down the number of people affected by occupational hearing loss.