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Why is noise a problem for ship workers?

If you lose your hearing, you may never get it back. Therefore protecting it is crucial.

Significant hearing loss does not occur from occasionally attending heavy metal or other loud concerts due to the relatively short time you are exposed to high noise levels. Working with excessive noise day after day could do.

Ships and offshore drilling platforms are some of the noisiest places to work. As a result, these ships, including offshore drilling platforms, cargo ships, passenger ships and commercial fishing vessels all have dangerous noise levels.

How can you protect your hearing on a ship?

On land, the answer would be for employers to ensure workers are only exposed to excess noise for short periods. That is not so simple when at sea. You cannot just go home for a bit of peace and quiet.

Employers can however assess which parts of the ship are the noisiest and limit how much time individuals spend in them.

Isolating the source of the sound is another necessary step. In the same way that a bar with live metal bands must insulate the walls to ensure the neighbors do not have to listen to their very loud tunes every night, there are ways to reduce how far sound travels within a ship. The final measure is to focus on people’s ears. High-quality earplugs and ear defenders are a must.

Despite all these measures, the noise on ships can be so great that anyone exposed to it day after day can still suffer hearing loss. If you notice your hearing is suffering, get it checked out by a medical specialist. If they find irreparable damage is already done, your only option may be to find out how to claim compensation under the appropriate maritime law.