Meet Nick. Nick is a training mannequin who helps NIOSH teach young people and their families about preventing noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing loss can result from working around noise–even non-powered hand tools–without wearing proper hearing protection. It is not uncommon for a 25 year-old farmer or carpenter to have the hearing of a 50 year-old. In fact, 33% of all people who are exposed to hazardous noise at work will develop noise-induced hearing loss. You don’t have to work on a farm or at a factory to be at risk; common noise sources around your house – such as lawnmowers, power tools, and music systems – can be hazardous to your hearing. It is the sum of all of your exposures to sound throughout the day and evening that add together to damage hearing when that total becomes excessive. Even the young are at risk. In the general population, approximately 15% of those between ages 6 and 19 show signs of impaired hearing.[i] One study found that over 30% of high school boys who live or work on a farm have hearing loss[ii]. We need to protect this and the next generation of workers.
Safer Healthier Workers
Selected Category: Hearing loss
October 11th, 2012 8:12 am ET - Janet Ehlers, RN, MSN, COHC and Pamela S. Graydon, MS, COHC
June 11th, 2012 11:05 am ET - Gregory A. Burr, CIH and Deborah Hornback, MS
On Sunday, the 2012 Tony Awards celebrated the year’s best offerings from “The Great White Way.” While the theater provides entertainment, the preparation and production of live performances can also pose hazards to those working in all aspects of the theater –from actors on stage to set designers behind the scenes and musicians in the orchestra pit. Some of these hazards were well publicized in recent years as multiple actors and stunt doubles were injured during the production of Spiderman, Turn off the Dark. These injuries included harness failure, injuries sustained during flying sequences and actors struck by equipment[i]. With the complexities of a theatrical production, there are numerous potential hazards. In fact, one hazard, a falling backdrop, is portrayed in the musical The Phantom of the Opera. But the Phantom wasn’t to blame when a large backdrop hit Bret Michaels on the head after performing with the cast of Rock of Ages during the 2009 Tony Awards [ii]. Other potential hazards in the theater include rigging and flying hazards, repetitive strain injuries among dancers and carpenters, solvent and chemical exposures, noise-induced hearing loss, electrical hazards, falls from heights, as well as most hazards found on a construction site.
November 4th, 2011 2:29 pm ET - Heidi Hudson, MPH, and Chuck Hayden, MS, PE
We know that using tools and machinery that produce less noise will help prevent hearing loss among the workers who use them. The next step would seem obvious—buy quieter tools and machinery. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Making products quieter is a tough sell in industry. Currently, the availability of quieter tools and machines is limited and it’s not always clear to purchasers how much noise particular tools and machinery produce. NIOSH and its partners are working to change that through the creation of a Buy Quiet web tool.
This web tool will build on the process of “buy quiet”—the concept that employers can most effectively reduce hazardous noise levels at their worksites through their procurement process.
Categories: Hearing loss
January 25th, 2011 2:15 pm ET - Thais C. Morata, PhD, and Ryan Johnson, BA
But don’t go one louder!
In the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, Chris Guest’s rocker “Nigel Tufnel” proudly points out that the volume controls for his amplifiers are “one louder” than standard amps. “These go to 11.” In real life, This Isn’t Spinal Tap, and one can have too much of a good thing. The “good thing” we are talking about is playing or listening to your favorite music too loudly and possibly damaging your hearing. Once you have hearing loss, music will never sound the same; ringing in the ears will rob you of the sound of silence.
Whether it’s rock, classical, hip hop, or something in between, at certain sound levels, repeated exposure to music can cause permanent hearing loss and/or ringing in the ears known as tinnitus.
Get email updates
To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address:
- Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
- At-risk populations
- Bloodborne pathogens
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Emergency response
- Engineering Control
- Health care
- Hearing loss
- Oil and gas
- Outdoor work
- Personal protective equipment
- Policy and programs
- Prevention through Design
- Respiratory health
- Small Business
- Sports and entertainment
- Total Worker Health
- Vehicle safety
- Young Workers
About this Site
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333
TTY: (888) 232-6348
- Contact CDC–INFO