There are a lot of jobs that are dangerous. We tend to think of these occupations as physically dangerous. Although not as obvious but just as important, your hearing can be seriously injured at work. One should protect one’s hearing just as one would wear safety glasses for their eyes or a hard hat to protect their head. Safety – hearing safety – is also a must in any noisy work environment.

Remember to wear earmuffs or earplugs if you work in a continually high noise level. Construction sites, factories with machinery and concert venues are some of the most common places you may need ear protection. But don’t ignore your workplace if it’s not one of these places. Know that you are exposing yourself to excessively high levels of noise when your ears ring after leaving work or the noise bothers you so much, you seek out quiet places for relief.

Some noisy work environments such as call centers and restaurants may not be practical settings for ear protection since you need to carry on a conversation. In these types of settings, speak with your employer about some strategies for dropping the noise levels. Installing sound-dampening, acoustical tiles will help decrease the reverberation of sound in your workspace. Turning down any background music also ensures that no one has to talk over it, and therefore, increasing the noise levels.

But ultimately, the responsibility to protect your precious sense of hearing is up to you. Turn down the volume on your headset or ear buds. Do not try to drown out background noise. This will literally damage your ears. You may even want to consider noise-canceling headphones if background noise is an issue.