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How can hearing loss happen on construction sites?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Construction sites have many busy and loud areas. This leads to hearing loss being a real risk for people employed in this field.

It is beneficial to take a closer look at how this loss can happen at work, which is important to know when pursuing workers’ compensation.

Extreme noises

Construction sites can be extremely noisy for individuals who stay there all day long. Machines, tools and equipment are common sources of this issue. Any noise over 85 decibels can be harmful to a person’s ears after a few hours.

However, on construction sites, sounds can go way above that. Equipment like jackhammers and drills can blast out noise at 120 decibels or more. Spending too much time around this kind of noise can damage an individual’s hearing permanently.

Employer’s lack of protection gear

When a person cannot get appropriate protective gear, such as earmuffs or earplugs, from an employer, it leaves them vulnerable to the detrimental effects of noise exposure. Additionally, poorly fitting or worn-out protective gear may offer inadequate defense against loud noises, further increasing the risk of hearing damage.


It is not just the noise itself that can hurt someone’s ears. Vibrations can also harm them. When machines and tools shake, they send vibrations through a skull to the inner ear. This can hurt a person’s hearing, even if the noise does not seem that loud.

Length of time

Hearing loss does not happen all at once. A worker may not immediately notice the decline in their hearing abilities, leading them to underestimate the severity of the issue. By the time symptoms become apparent, irreversible damage could already happen.

The construction industry can be physically demanding for employees, but that does not mean someone has to sacrifice their hearing. Workers’ compensation is just one source of financial help at this time for out-of-work individuals facing pain from a work injury.