CDC: Hearing loss is most common work-related injury

Work-related hearing loss is the most common U.S. workplace injury with approximately 22 million of the nation's workers exposed annually to hazardous occupational noise, according to the CDC.

The CDC said it compared the prevalence of hearing impairment within nine industry sectors using 1,413,789 noise-exposed worker audiograms from individuals employed by 25,908 U.S. companies during 2003–2012.

What it found was the mining sector had the highest prevalence of workers with any impairment (17 percent) and with moderate or worse impairment (3 percent), followed by the construction sector (any impairment = 16 percent, moderate or worse impairment = 3 percent), and the manufacturing sector (14 percent and 2 percent). Eleven percent of workers in the healthcare and social assistance sector had some impairment.

The CDC also found the proportion of mining sector employees exposed to hazardous noise (76 percent) was the highest in any sector.

To help reduce the number of American workers with hearing impairment, the U.S. Labor Department launched a challenge earlier this summer called "Hear and Now," in which it asks for ideas and technology to better alert workers of hazardous noise levels, reports Kaiser Health News.

Additionally, officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration plans to solicit requests for information later this year about regulations at construction sites to examine how companies are complying and determine if more stringent protections are needed, according to the article.


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