Students, hear us out: Study up on hearing loss [videos]

PSAs remind new workers to avoid old hearing hazards

This school year, SAIF doesn't want students to fail their hearing tests.

That's the message behind two new PSAs from Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation company.    

“We tend to think hearing loss only happens as you age, but exposure to loud noises can cause hearing loss at any age,” said David Johnson, SAIF's industrial hygiene supervisor. “And whether you're not wearing proper hearing protection in high noise environments, or listening to music too loud while you're studying, you're putting your ears at risk.”  

SAIF recommends employees wear hearing protection when exposed to noise above 85 decibels. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates lawn mowers have between 80 and 100 decibels; headphones at top volume can be as high as 110 decibels.  

The concepts for the PSAs came from SAIF interns Eden McCall and Jill Cote, who saw a need for educating their generations on causes of hearing loss.  

“The videos capture what having hearing loss can be like in pretty common situations like going on a date or watching TV at home,” said McCall. “I want people my age to stop and think about the future of their hearing and what can happen if they aren't careful about loud noises now.”

McCall is entering her senior year at Sprague High School in Salem this year, and recently won first place in the Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) video contest in May for her entry, The Silent Condition.   

Cote is currently a candidate for a Masters of Public Health, with an option in environmental and occupational health at Oregon State University. She also earned her Bachelor of Science in public health and a minor in environmental safety and health from Oregon State. In addition to her graduate studies, she serves as the president for the Oregon State chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals.  

More information on hearing loss at any age can be found at saif.com/noise.  

About SAIF

SAIF is Oregon's not-for-profit workers' compensation insurance company. Since 1914, we've been taking care of injured workers, helping people get back to work, and striving to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work. For more information, visit the About SAIF page on saif.com.