Are you concerned about the noise levels in your job and wondering if it is causing long-term damage to your hearing? It could be, and one way to check is to use an app that tells you the decibel (dB) level in your environment.
We’ll take a look at the professions with the loudest noise levels, such as stage musicians, nightclub workers, and airport ground staff. This list should give you some perspective and help you make informed decisions.
Stage musicians, such as rock bands, are regularly subjected to high decibel levels both on and off stage during rehearsals. When they are on stage, they are exposed to noise levels of 110 decibels, primarily from monitor speakers but also from the audience.
To protect their hearing and prevent damage to the inner ear, stage musicians often wear earplugs to cancel the loudest frequencies of their performance. Noise-cancelling headphones with volume controls can also be used during rehearsals.
The sound of a nightclub is louder than a rock concert because nightclubs are usually indoors, condensing the sound waves and resulting in higher decibel levels. Nightclubs are also typically small, putting workers at risk.
Bouncers at the door may be at risk, but bar workers are exposed to decibel levels of up to 155 decibels.
Construction work is also one of the noisiest professions, with workers regularly exposed to decibel levels of 120 decibels. The danger is not only from the noise level but also from the prolonged period of exposure.
The loudest tool on a construction site has been identified as the hammer drill, which produces 120 decibels. However, it is not the only power tool in regular use on a construction site.
Formula One Drivers
Being a Formula One driver may seem like a dream job, but it also comes with the risk of permanent damage to hearing. In an F1 car, the driver is seated in a cockpit in front of the high-octane engine, which produces 135 decibels in a sustained way, very close to the driver’s ears.
Protection is necessary to avoid damage and still enjoy the hobby.
Airport Ground Staff
Topping the list of noisiest jobs is that of airport ground staff, who are regularly subjected to blasts of 140 decibels from jet aircraft taking off and landing. Although the blast is only temporary, there is a steady stream of aircraft to handle.
Due to the high noise levels and the sustained nature of the job, airport ground staff need to wear brightly coloured earmuffs. These are specially designed to cancel noise as much as possible and provide a safe working environment for staff, but it doesn’t always work out that way.