Many occupations require employees to be subject to high decibels. You don’t need to work next to an industrial machine to suffer from noise pollution, however. Employers and employees both should be cognizant of the dangers of noise pollution in the workplace and work to reduce noise in the environment.
Hearing loss is a real danger, not only for those on the front line of noise pollution like subway engineers, disc jockeys, and factory workers, but also for office workers, teachers, and nurses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established guidelines for protecting workers in high-risk jobs from hearing damage. Other workers must monitor their own safety. Headphones are one of the major contributors to hearing loss. Using headphones to talk on the phone or to listen to music or other sounds to drown out workplace noise can be harmful. Headphones should be kept well below 80 decibels to be safe.
Stress is another factor related to noise pollution. A neighboring worker’s tapping or the hum of an office air-conditioning system can move beyond aggravating. It is possible to find noise-reducing headphones or earmuffs that can make the workplace a calmer, safer place.
Small-business owners must also care for their employees and themselves. They should consider taking out small business insurance to protect themselves from losses to their bottom line.