For individuals in North Carolina and elsewhere around the country, workplace dangers can arise from unexpected places. In a study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), loud, noisy workplaces were associated with high cholesterol and high blood pressure among workers at such facilities. Both of these conditions are major risks for heart disease, which is the leading cause of fatalities across the country. This means that loud noise can be a major health risk in the workplace alongside more commonly recognized risks, like toxic chemicals or dangerous machinery.
Around 41 million people, or a quarter of the United States workforce, reported being exposed to loud noise on the job. There has been an increased recognition of the impacts of noise on overall health. Besides the effects on hearing, loud noise can lead to sleep disruption hours later, poorer cognitive performance and migraine headaches in sufferers. While reducing loud noise and protecting workers has long been recognized as important in avoiding hearing loss, it can also play an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease.
The results of the study revealed that 12 percent of workers who are exposed to loud noise on the job had hearing problems, 28 percent had elevated cholesterol and 24 percent had high blood pressure. The researchers concluded that noise caused 58 percent of the hearing loss cases, 14 percent of the high blood pressure issues and 9 percent of the high cholesterol cases in the study. Loud noise can be a problem in many industries, including mining, production, construction and manufacturing.
Noise is only one of the serious issues in the workplace that can lead to occupational disease. From exposure to chemicals and other substances to the long-term effects of heavy physical labor, workers can experience cumulative, long-term issues as a result of on-the-job activity. A workers' compensation lawyer can help injured and affected workers protect their rights and seek compensation for the damages they have suffered.