One in three people over 50 in Germany struggles with the effects of hearing loss. In some cases, these impairments can be linked to the profession performed: Accordingly, what do an employee in the field of aircraft handling, a dentist and the bartender in the nightclub have in common?? Right, they are all exposed to increased noise levels. The list of occupations with sound exposure and risk for noise-induced hearing loss is long.
Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the leading occupational diseases in Germany, about one-sixth of all confirmed cases of occupational diseases are noise-related. Compensation payments amounting to approximately 35 million euros are made annually for hearing loss caused at the workplace alone.
- Not only the obvious occupations are affected
- High exposure levels in the music and nightclub sector
- Danger group of professional musicians
- audibene Ranking: The most noise endangered professions
Not only the obvious professions are affected
It is not always obvious which profession is affected by noise exposure in the workplace: for example, dentists and dental office workers. These are exposed to increased noise levels from extraction equipment and drills, which regularly exceed the so-called lower exposure action value of 80 dB. Due to the short distance to the noise source, values above 85 dB are not uncommon. Constant exposure throughout the day can cause long-term damage. Brewery employees, for example, also belong to the danger group.
It is less surprising that airport ground personnel are exposed to increased noise levels of. This is why you will not find anyone working there without appropriate hearing protection.
The ears of workers in steel mills, road construction workers or in car production are also particularly strained. Wearing noise protection is compulsory here – just as it is in the timber industry.
High exposure levels in the music and nightclub sector
People who work at music events, concerts and nightclubs are often not particularly well protected. In most cases, the safety of the employees is not taken into account here. also too seldom acted on their own responsibility. Who has ever seen a bartender with hearing protection? In music clubs, the volume often goes up to 110 dB; the upper exposure action level is 85 dB continuous exposure. In this case, the employer would have to mark the noise areas according to the regulation and ensure the use of hearing protection.
For people in this work environment, earplugs specially designed to filter out certain frequencies without interfering with music or communication are a good solution.
Music lovers and concertgoers are also recommended to use such hearing protection in their free time. Even music that is "consumed via portable players" is considered a hazardous area.
Danger group professional musicians
The same is true for musicians. There are studies that show that almost every third orchestra musician loses hearing capacity in the course of their professional life. It seems paradoxical in these professions in particular, since musicians depend on their good hearing.
A piccolo player can be exposed to noise levels equivalent to a circular saw without wearing appropriate protection.
Teachers and kindergarten teachers are also exposed to increased noise levels.
Just as in the case of orchestral musicians, the source here is a pleasant one, nevertheless it is necessary to be careful.
Exposure in the education sector is usually very selective and therefore not permanently dangerous.
Check your everyday life for sources of noise and noise exposure! Noise has an impact on our health, especially on our nervous system, and can be responsible for cardiovascular diseases and susceptibility of the immune system. It can also affect our rest and lead to irritability and nervousness.
audibene ranking: The occupations most exposed to noise
1. 140 dB – Employees in aircraft handling. The peak value of all occupational groups is reached by the ground personnel at the airport, who work on the tarmac between the taking off and landing machines. A deafening 140 dB is reached here.
2. 120 dB – Road construction workers. Jackhammers and other heavy equipment at construction sites also reach values of 120 dB. It is also not allowed to work without hearing protection.
3. 110 dB – bartenders. Even bartenders are exposed to 110 dB of sound for hours at a time at their workplace. Adequate protection is therefore advisable for both staff and guests!
4. 105 dB – Factory workers and farm workers. Workers who work with large machines are also exposed to high levels of noise. In factories and in agriculture, values around 105 dB are not uncommon.
5. 100 dB – Brewery employees. The machines in breweries not only produce tasty beverages, but also noise of 100 dB – the result for employees is often hearing loss and tinnitus.
6. 95 dB – Orchestral musician. Music is in itself very pleasant and relaxing, but above a certain volume it can cause damage to the ear. Orchestral musicians are professionally exposed to music at a particularly high intensity, but music played too loudly on headphones is also harmful and should be avoided.
7. 90 dB – Dentists and dental assistants. The background noise at dentists is not only unpleasant for patients. In the long run, this also leaves its mark on dentists and dental assistants. You work every day right next to the equipment that ca. 90 dB, which can lead to hearing impairment in the long term.
8. 85 dB – Teachers and kindergarten teachers. When children play and romp, sounds are created at an intensity that should not be underestimated. Values in the range of 85 dB are not uncommon.