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The Top 10 Noisiest Jobs

Men wearing uniforms and protection helmets in a loud factory

Did you know that about 430 million people struggle with hearing loss?

While there are many causes of hearing loss, loud jobs can be one major reason. When you work at a loud job, you have a significantly greater risk of permanent hearing loss.

So, do you want to know what some of those loud jobs might include? Let’s check out the top ten noisiest jobs to be aware of.

1. Airport Ground Handler

Airport ground handlers include a number of different positions, including:

  • Baggage workers
  • Ramp work
  • Technical services
  • Operations

Regardless of which of those jobs you’re performing, you can get exposed to as much as 140 dB! At those ear-damaging decibels, you’re at a significantly increased risk of developing permanent hearing loss. Without sufficient hearing protection at these sound levels, permanent hearing loss can occur in less than 15 minutes.

2. Shooting Range Marshall

Another job where you’re exposed to a lot of sounds is on the shooting range. Day after day, you have to help customers out as they fire off noisy guns.

Over time, the sounds of those gunshots can damage your ears. In fact, with all that shooting and firing you could wind up being exposed to as much as 165 dB during an average workday!

3. Factory Worker

Factory workers spend time around heavy machinery that gives off loud noises. Workers involved in the following activities may develop permanent hearing loss as a result of exposure to the sound involved with these tasks:

  • Bottling
  • Pouring products into hoppers
  • Sawing
  • Milling
  • Blast chilling
  • Packaging
  • Cutting

These activities can expose you to sounds ranging from 85 to 107 dB. Those are damaging levels for the ears.

4. Construction Worker or Carpenter

Another profession in which you may find yourself around loud sounds is if you’re a construction worker or a carpenter. The machinery and tools that these people use can reach noise levels of 85 to 130 dB.

On top of that, many people don’t realize that these noise levels are harmful. They may work without earmuffs or custom lifestyle molds, thinking that the levels are fine!

It’s not until later that they realize they’ve made a terrible mistake.

5. Nightclub Worker or Musician

nightclub djWe love going to the club and enjoying the thumping bass and booming music. But what if you were immersed in those throbbing sounds every day of the week?

Over time, you’d find that it took a toll on your hearing.

Nightclub workers and musicians are typically exposed to decibels ranging from 110 to 120 dB  on a daily basis. That can be extremely detrimental to the ears. Noise at this level can cause permanent hearing damage in less than 15 minutes without sufficient hearing protection; these noise levels are extremely hazardous….

6. Farm Worker

When you think of working on a farm you probably think of cool breezes blowing through an orchard and peaceful, idyllic country settings.

The reality of these jobs, however, is quite different. As a farm worker, you not only have to perform backbreaking tasks, but you also have to operate heavy, noisy machinery.

Plus, squealing pigs can be louder than you think! The machinery that farmers use can be as loud as 105 dB, and with the level of noise, and the cumulative exposure over many hours, can cause permanent hearing damage without sufficient hearing protection.

7. Office Workers

“But wait,” you say “I’m not exposed to loud noises in my quiet office!” Well, the reality is, you probably are.

Many office workers listen to music on their earphones either while at the office or while commuting to work. Far too often, they turn the volume up just a bit too high.

As a result, you’re probably exposing yourself to about 100 dB each time you break out the earphones!

8. Motorcycle Courier

The rev of a motorcycle’s engine is half of what gets your adrenaline pumping. However, that loud roar can also be pretty damaging to your ears.

If you spend your days as a motorcycle courier, you could be exposing yourself to about 110 dB each time you go for a ride! Over time, that can have negative effects on your ears.

9. Mining or Petrochemical Worker

As a mining or petrochemical worker, you spend your days operating heavy machinery and drilling systems. While highly effective for getting your job done, these are also extremely noisy machines.

When you operate that kind of machinery, you could be exposing yourself to noise levels as high as 115 dB! That’s certainly within the range for you to damage your ears and cause permanent hearing loss.

10. Daycare Worker or Teacher

Last but not least on our list are daycare workers and teachers. If you work in this profession or have small children of your own at home, you know how noisy they can get!

What’s more, professionals in these jobs are at risk of prolonged exposure to hazardous levels of noise, potentially causing permanent damage to the auditory system. When the noise in the classroom gets up to 85 dB, that can lead to some serious damage to the ears.

Working in the Noisiest Jobs: Signs of Noise-Related Damage

If you work in any of these jobs, you might already experience noise-related damage. Here are a few signs of potential noise-related damage:

For one thing, if you can’t hear high-pitched sounds, you might have noise-related damage. High-pitched sounds can even include little kids’ voices or women’s voices!

Another sign of noise-related damage is if you experience Tinnitus. Tinnitus is when you hear ringing or buzzing in your ear that doesn’t come from an external source.

Finally, if you can’t tell where sounds are coming from, you may have noise-related damage.

If you’re unsure if you’ve got noise damage, we can help. Our one-minute hearing loss quiz can help you decide on your next steps.

Protect Yourself from Extreme Decibel Levels

The risk of loud spaces and the noisiest jobs can cause some serious hearing loss concerns, and when you work one of these noisiest jobs, you’re constantly exposed to loud sounds.

If you think you have hearing loss, or have hearing concerns, contact us to schedule a hearing test at one of our Soundwave hearing clinics. You’ll find us in Calgary, High River, and Grande Prairie.

All the blogs are reviewed and edited by our clinic's lead audiologist, Dr. Anne Wooliams. Dr. Woolliams is an experienced audiologist specialized in pediatric audiology, auditory processing, and tinnitus/sound sensitivity therapy. She is dedicated to providing top-notch hearing care and helping her clients improve their language and communication abilities. Dr. Woolliams' expertise in literature and linguistics, combined with her passion for helping people improve their language and communication, make her an incredibly valuable asset in the field of audiology. Learn more about Dr. Woolliams.