A new study's surprising results reveal that extra workplace decibels can actually increase not just the risk of work-related accidents but also road collisions.
The findings by the Universite de Montreal, the Universite Laval and the Institut national de sante publique du Quebec will be reported in three journals: Occupation Environmental Medicine, Accident Analysis and Prevention and Traffic Injury Prevention.
To reach the conclusion, researchers studied a sample of 53,000 workers.
"More than 60 percent were exposed to noises exceeding the norm of 90 decibels (dB) per day, which is equivalent to the sounds that emanate when a subway enters a station," says Michel Picard, a professor at the Universite de Montreal's School of Speech Therapy and Audiology, who conducted the study along with his colleague Tony Leroux.
When a worker is exposed to noise exceeding 90 dB during a day's work, that worker is 6.2 percent more likely to have a work accident than colleagues working in the same environment with less noise.
If the worker suffers hearing loss, his risk of injury is 7 percent greater, the researchers found.
According to Picard, the study suggests that workplace noise levels are a problem neglected by authorities.