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The Top 6 Noisiest Jobs: Hearing Loss by Occupation


Is your job causing hearing loss? Your hearing is an incredibly valuable asset in the workplace. Unfortunately, some workplace environments may be more damaging to your eardrums than others. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that 22 million US workers are exposed to potentially dangerous levels of noise in the workplace each year. Unhealthy noise levels are one of the most common hearing loss causes, and can lead to shocking statistics in some occupations. If you work in one of these six loudest workplaces, you may want to consider the effects your work environment may be having on your hearing.

Manufacturing and Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is the most commonly recorded as occupational illness in manufacturing, accounting for 1 in 9 recordable illnesses. The reasons behind these staggering numbers are obvious, with all the large and loud machinery in this line of business. And this problem is all over the nation. Manufacturing is one of the largest industries in the U.S., which means hearing loss can spread rapidly. In fact, a study in Michigan reveals that more than half of all cases of permanent workplace occupational hearing loss is caused by the manufacturing sector.

Construction, Carpentry, Mining and Hearing Loss

Whether outside your window, on your walk to work or anywhere else on the street, you may be painfully familiar with the extreme noise levels of construction sites. Now imagine working there. For the country’s construction workers, these sounds are notable hearing loss causes and can be particularly hazardous to hearing health. Long periods of exposure to noise over 85dB is considered dangerous to one’s hearing, yet many of the most common construction tools make noise well above this cautionary value. Let’s consider one the noisiest yet most common construction tools: the hammer drill. This ear-shattering tool registers at nearly 115dB. With these dangerous decibels, whether you are performing construction work at home or for pay, make sure to wear the right kind of ear protection to protect yourself from industrial hearing loss.
Miners and carpenters are particularly affected due to a similarly noisy tool set, as the next couple of graphs can attest.



Hearing Loss and Motorcycles

Traveling on a motorbike beyond 50mph, can expose the driver to up to 90dB of noise under the helmet. The maximum recommended exposure limit at this level is 2.5-3 hours at a time. While slow city traffic might be more manageable, it’s more the day-in/day-out exposure, as well as longer travels on open roads that do the damage. Courier or no courier, all bikers can be affected by industrial hearing loss.

Hearing Loss in Entertainment and Nightlife

All that hubbub can hurt your ears. Loud music is one of the most common hearing loss causes. Employees at bars, nightclubs, or concert hallsmight be enduring dangerous sound levels every night of the week.Most nightlife hotspots operate at levels well above 100 dB, which means the mood music may be doing some mega damage. Bartenders, performers, and security should all be well aware of the dangers of occupational hearing loss, and seek out special earplugs specifically made for musicians. This also goes for rock stars.

Airport Staff and Hearing Loss

If you have ever taken a look at an airport runway, you may notice the brightly colored ear protection worn by airport traffic directors. These are not just a fashion statement, but indeed a necessary precaution. The sound of a jet engine is one of the loudest auditory occupational hazards, with sound levels at a shocking 140dB. Sound waves are invisible, but at this level, they pack a whopping force.

Shooting Range Marshals and Hearing Loss

Guns and other firearms are loud, ask any military veteran. Shooting range marshals, if not carefully protected with heavy duty on-ear protectors or custom made ear plugs, can be exposed to up to 140dB of noise exposure during any given day. One more reason to think twice about that next excursion to the shooting range or hunting trip.

Fortunately, there are many preventative measures in order to mitigate the effects of workplace-induced hearing loss, occupational hearing loss and industrial hearing loss. Appropriate ear protection, in addition to the right diet, can keep your hearing health top-notch. And as always, Audicus is here to keep your hearing at its very highest with our discreet bte hearing aids.


Sources: Audicus,,,

by Patrick Freuler

3 responses to “The Top 6 Noisiest Jobs: Hearing Loss by Occupation

  1. It would be really nice if there were some comparison of hearing assistance devices by an independent third party. Do I need the gold plated versions or would the lesser models work fine? What do I get by paying twice as much? Is a top of the line model made in 2005 still better than a much lower cost model made in the current year? My audiologist makes three conflicting statements. 1.The newest units in any price range are much better than those available 5 years ago., 2. A device usually only lasts three or four years., Almost no one who purchased from her, a good quality digital hearing assistance device since 2003 and whose device is still working, wants to “move up” to a newer model.

  2. I am trying my best to educate myself not to be tress about my hearing loss. But , the co-workers of my new employees they see me as hearing loss not who I am . When I go to church , I went in the girls room to cry myself out at home I wear my strong face and at work too . I feel tired about the way they treat me . I am really want my job . I saw people hearing so many things wrong, they only care to gossip and to hear what people said…. I pray Lord not to let me discourage because it will bad for my life for not being to know what to do . But, I am really need a support from people disabled to encourage 24 hours 7 days. It is to go alone to look for the best job that make you happy and help you financially as a great wage, benefits and raising and promote you and praise you on any step you take .

    1. Marie,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling. It sounds like your church may be a supportive outlet for you. You might want to look into seeing if they have any support groups there that provide you with a loving and safe space to express yourself and mourn your hearing loss.

      There are also many great online support groups like this one:

      You can connect with other people going through the same thing and may be able to find some people to meet up with in your area to talk about the challenges of wearing new hearing aids. Let us know if we can help! 888-979-6918.


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