Is your office too loud?News added by Benefits Pro on June 20, 2014
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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Dan Cook

Are bosses harder of hearing than employees?

That could be one explanation for the results of a study that indicate workplace noise bothers workers much more than it does supervisors.

The findings emerged from research on workplace noise conducted by EPIC Hearing Healthcare. EPIC queried 1,500 full-time workers and nearly 500 benefits professionals. EPIC cited “drastic differences” in responses about workplace noise from employees and employers.

The main question posed was this: How many hours a day do you believe your workplace is noisy (loud enough you would have to raise your voice to be heard)?

Fifty-five percent of employees said it was that noisy for more than an hour a day, and 36 percent said it was too noisy for more than three hours each working day.

Asked to respond to the same question, 80 percent of employers said their workplace was “hardly ever noisy.”

“This suggests that employers may be underestimating the noise levels faced by employees, which could have serious consequences, given that noise exposure is the most common and preventable contributor to hearing loss,” said Brad Volkmer, president and CEO of EPIC Hearing Healthcare.

Nearly half of the employees surveyed felt their hearing was being damaged by noise levels at work. About the same number said work breaks offered them relief from the din.

“Employees who described their workplace as noisy were also more likely to report diagnosed and suspected hearing loss, supporting the assumption that noise on the job plays a role in hearing damage,” Volkmer said.

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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