Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common work-related disease. Though it typically happens gradually, damage is permanent. Learn more about whether you’re at risk and how to protect yourself.
Too much noise
Workers can suffer from hearing loss by being exposed to a single loud noise or by repeated exposure to a consistent noise.
Being exposed to a noise louder than 85 decibels (dBA) (about the equivalent of sustained traffic noise) during an average eight-hour day can permanently damage hearing. Higher levels of noise can cause permanent damage in shorter periods of time.
A simple way to test whether noise levels could be hazardous is to talk to someone standing at arm’s length from you. If you must raise your voice for that person to hear you, the noise is likely too loud.