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When it comes to your job, it is important to monitor the balance of your needs against the demands of the organization. Of course, we all sacrifice some of our creature comforts in order to work hard toward a goal, but this willingness to forgo the features of the good life can easily be exploited by a boss or the structure of an organization.
Worker protections are an essential feature of our legal system. Without these protections, workers might be subjected to unfair pay, unlimited hours, and shifts without a moment’s break. Along with these basic protections, our legal system has set in place a requirement for basic health and safety protections on the job.
These protections are not only essential for workers, but they are also crucial for the productivity and moral standards of employers. Among the many protections set in place, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established guidelines for hearing protection. In a direct sense, workplaces can cause harm to hearing ability.
In an indirect sense, this hearing loss can cause a ripple effect of risks of injury and harm, particularly in worksites with heavy machinery and industrial tools. Let’s consider some of the potential effects of hearing loss on the job, both from your perspective and your employer.
Hearing Loss and Productivity
From the perspective of your employer, hearing loss may lead to a lower rate of productivity on the job. Although you might not feel that your job requires much in the way of hearing or communication, you might be surprised how often you use casual verbal communication to make the work process flow easily. When instructions or questions are not properly heard, major mistakes can occur in the process of completing tasks and projects.
From the perspective of the employer, this lack of productivity can cut into the bottom line. From the perspective of the employee, this lack of productivity can put one’s job at risk, particularly when a supervisor notices these mistakes due to miscommunication. Not only can miscommunication cause you to make mistakes on the job, but these errors can lead to a domino rally of effects down the production chain, making others less efficient at their jobs, as well.
Hearing Loss and Workplace Safety
Although productivity is an important concern, workplace safety affects us on an entirely different level. Hearing loss in the workplace can lead not only to mistakes but to threats to life and limb. Take, for instance, an industrial site or factory. If a warning is not heard by one employee, that person’s health and safety might be at risk. You might be surprised how many audible alarms, notifications, and indicators are used in our everyday lives. Not only is this individual’s health and safety at risk due to hearing loss in the workplace, but this person might be responsible for alerting others to a potential danger. When the chain of alarm is broken, many people’s health and safety can be placed at risk, due to no intention on the part of the person with hearing loss.
Test Your Hearing
For these reasons, it is more important than ever to get a hearing test. Workplaces that have noisy conditions are required to monitor the hearing ability of their employees with regular testing and protection. However, some workplaces—particularly small businesses, restaurants, and bars—might not be aware of their responsibilities toward their employees.
No matter the nature of your work, it is important to take your hearing health into your own hands. Not only can your ability to hear at work put your job at risk, but you might be unintentionally endangering yourself or others.
We’re here to help! We provide comprehensive hearing health services, from custom hearing protection to hearing testing to hearing loss treatment. Contact us to schedule your appointment for a hearing test to make sure that you are able to perform your work efficiently and safely!