Hearing loss hits younger workers
MONTREAL - Noisy workplaces are contributing to increased rates of hearing loss among people aged 35 to 54, according to researchers in Quebec.
In the past, hearing loss was more prevalent among older people, but audiologist Rex Banks said as workplaces become noisier, younger people are suffering.
"The type of hearing loss is generally associated with adults who spend many years working in traditionally noisy occupations," said Banks, a manager at the
Canadian Hearing Society's audiology program.
Steel, pulp and paper, and construction workers are among the most vulnerable.
There are 10 per cent more compensation claims for hearing loss each year, said Christine Johnston of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board in Ontario.
She said most people don't protect their ears because they don't think it's necessary.
"There's no pain and so we think, 'Well, if others are experiencing some discomfort they're obviously just not as strong as I am,'" said Johnston. "So there's a
real sort of macho image associated with wearing hearing protection."
Both workers and employers need to recognize the problem and take steps to protect their hearing, she said.
Source: CBC/Radio - Canada, written by CBC News Online staff.