What jobs carry the biggest risk of hearing loss for workers?

Every job has certain risks that come with it. Retail workers have a real risk of exposure to seasonal illnesses and violence from complete strangers. Hospital workers are at high risk of hurting their back if they have to lift patients.

Some injuries and work-acquired medical conditions have longer-lasting effects for people than others. Hearing loss acquired on the job is often permanent and can even continue to get worse as the worker grows older. Trying to determine if your hearing loss is the result of your job often means identifying risk factors at your place of employment. What kinds of careers have the highest risk for work-related hearing loss if it was?

Those who work with machinery are often at risk

Loud noises are the top workplace risk factor for hearing loss. Devices ranging from a jackhammer to an airplane can create noises loud enough to damage someone’s hearing. Even with protective headgear, workers in loud professions for long amounts of time could suffer serious hearing loss. Some of the occupations with the most significant risks include:

  • Airline ground maintenance staff
  • Construction workers
  • Farmers and farm hands
  • Employees at music venues
  • Workers in factories with loud machines
  • Military careers involving aircraft, combat or machinery

If your job routinely exposes you to loud noises, both you and your employer should take steps to limit the risk for hearing loss. Unfortunately, many workers with long-term career exposure to loud noises will lose some of their hearing as a result. You may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits to help treat hearing loss or pay for assistive technology.


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