How Old Are Your Ears?

Find out how your hearing compares to the average person at

TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2017 /CNW/ - Between 2006 and 2015, almost 30,000 people - close to the population of Orillia, ON – had an allowed Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) claim. This accounted for about 23% of all allowed occupational disease claims and the condition was completely preventable.

"Unlike cuts and bruises, NIHL happens gradually, is rarely painful, and often takes years of exposure to develop," said Tom Teahen, WSIB President and CEO. "Damage that starts early in life usually isn't noticed until years down the road, so it's something most of us don't think about until it's too late. But once hearing loss occurs, it's permanent."

The bottom line is that noise at work can result in hearing loss and you should protect yourself. NIHL is the only type of hearing loss that's completely preventable. To avoid damage to your hearing, it's as simple as using earplugs.

With its new awareness campaign, the WSIB hopes to encourage people to make healthy changes to protect their hearing health, and reduce their exposure to hazardous noise levels at work.

The campaign utilizes online videos to illustrate the impact hearing loss could have. It also encourages people to visit an interactive website – – to see how their hearing compares to the average person and obtain information about the risk of NIHL.

"Our goal is to encourage everyone to factor hearing protection into their safety practices at work," said Teahen. "If you understand the dangers of noise, you can protect your hearing for life."

Harmful noise levels start as low as 85 decibels – that's the equivalent of the noise in a busy restaurant. If you need to raise your voice to be heard, then the noise level around you is high enough to cause hearing loss. If you're exposed over a long period of time, your hearing will likely be affected later in life.

Watch videos"Don't lose the sounds you love" -

Quick Facts:

  • NIHL is a permanent loss of hearing, usually in both ears, resulting from inner ear damage due to prolonged, continuous or intermittent hazardous noise exposure
  • 51% of workers were 65 years of age or older when diagnosed with NIHL
  • The top 2 sectors with allowed NIHL claims over the last 10 years are: Manufacturing (26%) and Construction (15%)
  • Male workers accounted for 95% of allowed NIHL claims


SOURCE Workplace Safety & Insurance Board

For further information: please contact: Christine Arnott, WSIB Public Affairs, 416-344-4202,


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