- Published on 06 March 2017
Data from WorkSafe B.C. show that young construction workers are less likely to wear hearing protection compared with older workers in construction and young workers in other industries, including manufacturing and primary resources, reports the Vancouver Sun, BC, Canada.
Occupational audiologist Sasha Brown commented on the data in an interview saying that younger workers in construction are far less likely to wear hearing protection at work compared with other age groups within their industry. He has found that this is a serious and growing problem in British Columbia.
The findings are based on a survey conducted in 2016 by employers in the province as part of hearing loss prevention programs that included more than 160,000 hearing tests, with about 50,000 in construction. Data showed that among construction workers aged 21 years or younger, 24% reported not using hearing protection versus 13% of workers over 50 years of age, and 11% of workers in all other age groups.
“While the damage may be painless, it is irreversible and may go unnoticed for years or even decades until it reaches a point where it has a significant effect on one’s quality of life,” explains Brown. “At this point, we don’t know why. But, in general, young people don’t see the benefits of short-term action for long-term issues. In some industries, you’ve got really intense loud noises. But, in general construction, there’s a lot of background noise that’s constant. So they underestimate the long-term effect of that,” he adds.
Source: Vancouver Sun; WorkSafe B.C.