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Noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can occur from exposure to loud sound.
The Irish Times has published an annual directory of the Top 1000 companies in Ireland over the past 10 years.
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1 sensory disability in the world, and the World Health Organization estimates that 16 percent of hearing loss worldwide is attributable to occupational noise exposure.
The critical factors are the noise level, measured in decibels (dB), and the duration or how long the sound is heard.
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To minimize the risk of incurring hearing loss due to noise, it is important for organizations, employers and individuals to understand how they can better protect themselves and their employees from excessive noise in the workplace. As the sound level increases, the length of time that a person safely can listen to the sound decreases. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites occupational hearing loss as the most commonly recorded occupational illness in manufacturing, and the second-most recorded work-related illness in the United States.
In the United States, the manufacturing sector showed an increase in noise-induced hearing loss cases from 344 in 2011 to 488 in 2012. More than half of the cases (52 percent) were from metalworking, according to the Workplace Health and Safety Institute.
A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health revealed that the sectors with the highest risk for developing hearing loss from noise are 1) mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, 2) construction and 3) agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting.
Noise-induced hearing loss is so prevalent in the mining industry that almost 27 percent of workers have been diagnosed with hearing loss. In the United States, HPDs must be measured in a standardized way on a small group of human subjects in an accredited laboratory. The amount of noise that is blocked is used to calculate a noise reduction rating (NRR), which must be printed on the product packaging. Workers have to move around, wear other protective gear, experience changing temperatures in their environment and concentrate on getting their work done correctly.
Therefore, in general, the real world attenuation from earmuffs tends to come closer to the NRR than for earplugs.

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