Concerts and sports events are an exciting part of life for many Americans. They are also a crucial part of the nation’s economy, as every Chicago workers’ comp attorney is aware. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20,000 workers are currently employed full-time in sports venues and concert venues.
Unfortunately, working at large events can cause serious health risks. Many event workers are exposed to dangerous levels of noise on the job. Even with appropriate protection and training, they may still face the hazard of long-term hearing loss.
Loud events by the numbers
Many sports events and concerts can easily exceed the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s guidelines for safe noise levels on the job. Some typical levels of noise pollution include the following:
- Displays of fireworks and firecrackers: up to 155 decibels
- Live concert venues: up to 135 decibels
- Dance clubs: up to 130 decibels
- Sporting events: up to 120 decibels
- Large movie theaters: up to 112 decibels
Long-term exposure to any of these environments can cause permanent injury to hearing, according to OSHA.
Public events are noisier than many people think
Some people who attend public events are unaware of the damaging noise levels they encounter. In the excitement of seeing a live band or watching a favorite sports team play, fans often forget about the noise in the background. For full-time event workers, a concert or a game is not an exciting event to be enjoyed a few times a year. It is a constant work environment full of auditory stress, as every Chicago workers’ comp attorney knows.
Permanent damage from loud workplaces
Many fans are familiar with the ringing sensation in the ears after attending a big game or a loud concert. For event workers exposed to these noise levels day after day, the consequences can be permanent. According to BLS statistics, approximately 125,000 people in America have suffered serious and irreversible job-related hearing loss in the past decade.
Event workers can protect themselves on the job
Event workers have the right to effective ear protection when they are employed in noisy areas. Custom earplugs and protective earmuffs can help cut noise levels. Work areas must also be insulated whenever possible to reduce the level of sound that reaches employees.
Working at loud events can be challenging to a person’s health. Event employees with hearing loss may find it helpful to get in touch with a Chicago workers’ comp attorney.