Hearing protection for tradies: How to reduce your risk of hearing loss

Tradespeople work in a risky industry, and hearing loss from power tools and machinery is one of the most common injuries among Australian tradies.

If you work in trades or construction and use power tools and machinery on a regular basis, you’re at potential risk of hearing damage. That’s why protecting your hearing at work is so important.

Wearing hearing protection at work will fade sound to less intrusive levels, ultimately reducing damage to your hearing. Earplugs for work also still let you hear what’s going on around you, which helps to keep you safe at work.

We look at how to protect your hearing if you’re a tradie and how to choose the best hearing protection for your work environment.

Hearing damage at work can happen in just 15 minutes

Your hearing can easily be damaged on the job as a result of noise generated by power tools, machinery and equipment. On average, 4,700 claims are made each year to Safe Work Australia for noise-induced hearing loss.

Hearing damage accumulates over time, too. Using a power tool that’s louder than 110dB for 30 seconds might be ok, just once. But doing that again and again during the day, every day, can be damaging.

Some power tools – such as pneumatic hammers and power-operated saws – are often louder than 110 decibels, and they’re used constantly throughout the day. Hearing damage at that volume can happen after just 15 minutes. According to Safe Work Australia, any noise above 140dB can cause instant hearing damage.

The good news is that noise-induced hearing loss can be preventable by reducing your exposure to loud noise.

Signs that your hearing might be damaged

Of course, like anything, hearing loss prevention is better than cure. There are ways to look after your hearing, whether you’re at work or not, such as taking a break away from noisy environments and turning down the volume when you’re listening to music.

 

Even if you have or are experiencing signs of hearing loss already, it doesn’t mean that you should use a jackhammer without ear protection.

Every bit of hearing damage adds up – which is why protection is important, irrespective of the state of your hearing.

Here are some common signs that you might already have some degree of hearing loss:

  • It’s hard to follow conversations in crowded or noisy places
  • You need to turn up the TV or radio from time to time (and people around you might complain about it!)
  • Other people always seem to be mumbling
  • You hear a constant ringing in your ears (which could be a sign of tinnitus)

If you do have some degree of hearing loss, working in noisy environments without hearing protection will gradually make it worse.

That’s why it’s important to get your hearing checked sooner rather than later, when more damage might be looming. If you’re concerned, book an appointment with one of our hearing care professionals to find out more.

Hearing protection that lets you hear the sounds you need

There are a few hearing protection options if working in a noisy environment, such as earmuffs or noise-cancelling earplugs for work.

There are also more advanced options such as specialist devices in the Phonak Serenity Choice™ range, which offer a variety of products that protect your hearing by cancelling out noise and loud sounds.

Phonak Serenity Choice Work is a tiny, reusable earplug that reduces the noise of construction work, heavy equipment, machinery and power tools, without masking your situational awareness.

These earplugs for work have been specially designed as hearing protection PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) for noisy working environments, where noise levels are above the safe limit of 85dB and hearing protection is required.

The best thing yet, you’ll still be able to hear voices and external sounds at a normal range, which is important for everyone’s safety.

The Phonak Serenity Choice Work device reduces the sound level by 24dB, so you can safely work for up to 8 hours in any environment up to 109dB.

For very loud situations, you can wear Serenity Choice Work under earmuffs where extra protection is required.

It’s also designed to let your ear breathe and keeps sound and speech audible. When you wear Phonak Serenity Choice Work, your ear remains well ventilated, which minimises “occlusion” – that hollow, booming sound you might hear when you talk while wearing regular ear plugs.

Looking for more options?

We’ve got a wide range of other hearing protection options for different situations, including motorsport, music and sleep. The best noise-cancelling earbuds for you will be determined by your hearing needs and lifestyle. Find our full range here and contact us if you have any questions.

 

If you’re unsure whether Phonak Serenity Choice hearing protection is right for you, book an appointment with one of our hearing care professionals, or chat to our expert team over the phone – we’re here to help you work out what you need

Online testing is quick and free

We’ve got a wide range of other hearing protection options for different situations, including motorsport, music and sleep. The best noise-cancelling earbuds for you will be determined by your hearing needs and lifestyle. Find our full range here and contact us if you have any questions.

 

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