Young construction workers less likely to protect hearing says WorkSafeBC

Young B.C. construction workers risk hearing loss

RICHMOND, B.C. — The organization that regulates health and safety in British Columbia workplaces reports almost one in four young construction workers is not doing enough to protect against hearing loss.

New data from WorkSafeBC shows 24 per cent of construction workers aged 21 or under don’t wear hearing protection.

That compares with 13 per cent of construction workers who don’t use hearing protection over the age of 50 and 11 per cent in all other age groups in the industry.

WorkSafe says young workers in construction are also less likely to wear hearing protection than young employees in other industries, such as manufacturing and primary resources.

The data was collected last year from more than 160,000 hearing tests conducted by B.C. employers as part of hearing loss prevention programs required by WorkSafeBC.

Occupational audiologist Sasha Brown says noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by a single loud noise or by repeated exposure to consistent noise, and it must be taken very seriously.

“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,” Brown says in a release.

According to WorkSafeBC, there have been more than 37,000 accepted claims for noise-induced hearing-loss in B.C. since 2006. 

The Canadian Press