Hearing Protection Devices: Provide Secure Health at workplace
One in 10 people in the U.S. suffer from hearing impairment, which later troubles an individual’s ability to recognize and understand the normal speech. Intense sound exposure is one of the most general causes of impaired hearing. This can be experience at industrial area, traffic, manufacturing site, and mines. The workers working in these premises are subjected to high noise levels, which can lead to long-term hearing loss. There are various basic effective hearing conservation programs conducted at various industrial and construction premises, though these rely on use of hearing protection devices rather than on means to reduce exposure to high noise levels. A data analysis by National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the U.S. stated that the prevalence of hearing impairment between 2000 and 2012 among the teenage group was 5.3-6.0%. Some of the occupational decibel levels and incidence rates of hearing loss at age 50 at manufacturing site and farming is 105dB and hearing loss at age 50 is 30% and 36%, respectively. At construction sites, the decibel level is 120dB and around 60% of people experience hearing loss in this sector.
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The global hearing protection market was valued at US$ 908.3 million in 2015 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 10.8% during the forecast period (2016 – 2024).
Figure 1. Global Hearing Protection Market Share, By Product Type (%)
Around 60% of operating engineer working at construction industry report that they have trouble in understanding speech
An estimated one-third of the all impaired hearing cases are related to noise exposure. Occupational noise exposure is the one of the most common causes of noise induced hearing loss in the U.S. In 2013, around 10% i.e. around 22 million people of age group 20 to 69 years in the U.S. suffered from permanent hearing loss as they were exposed to high or loud noise at construction and/or respective work environment. Specifically, increasing number of workers at construction or manufacturing site and increasing adoption of hearing control devices in developed regions to boost growth of the hearing protection market. Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the prominent diseases in the U.S. and the second-largest self-reported occupational illness or injury. Certain jobs that involve loud noise exposure include mining, tunneling, drilling, heavy engineering, operation carried by powerful combustion engines such as trucks, construction vehicles, etc. With the increase in exposure of workers to such noise leads to increase prevalence of impaired hearing.
In Asia Pacific region, awareness regarding hearing protection is less. However, due to increasing spending for the improvement of health and safety standards in economies such as India and China, the hearing protection devices market in this region is expected to witness significant growth in the near future. The workers in agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, utilities, transportation, and the military areas get exposed to loud sound. This sound exposure can be minimized by wearing the hearing protection devices, which allow permissible level of decibel without causing any adverse effects to the user. This is further expected to drive growth of the market.
In 2010, the Department of Veterans Affair spent around US$1.2 billion to reimburse over 1.4 million veterans on the grounds of service-associated hearing loss and tinnitus. Thus, noise induced hearing loss is an important public health concern for the general population and at the workforce, in advertently creating a highly conducive environment for growth of the global hearing protection market.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss creates enormous economic burden and human suffering effecting the hearing protection market
Though it is known that hearing impairment is not a life-threatening health concern, however hearing loss has a major impact on an individual’s quality of life. In the U.S. around 12% of total population suffer from hearing impairment caused due to loud noise. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognized that an annual hearing test should be conducted and is important for workers to have a proper and speech recognition understanding at work. Many governmental policies raised funds for the people who have experienced impaired hearing at work and lost hearing completely. The compensation cost for hearing loss among workers has been steadily increasing. In 2008, 12.2% of the in-service injuries and diseases were related to Noise Induced Hearing Loss, with a financial impact of an estimated US$ 242.4 million annually. These factors collectively create a highly conducive environment for growth of the global hearing protection market.
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