When it comes to your hearing, you often don’t realize just how delicate it actually is. The issue is that often once you’ve realized that there’s a problem, it’s often too late. While anyone of any age can suffer from a hearing problem, the fact is that people who don’t take care of their ears are twice as likely to suffer from a hearing complaint at some point in their lives.

While old age is often a common cause of hearing problems, another common reason is noise exposure. Noise-induced hearing loss is an incredibly common type of hearing loss, caused by — as the name suggests — exposure to sound that is so loud it causes harm and damage. What it is also essential to remember is that ear protection is more important in certain occupations than others – in some jobs it’s unnecessary but in others wearing adequate ear protection is critical.

Bearing that in mind, the question is what are the four occupations that most definitely require ear protection?

1. Airport worker

When we say ‘airport workers’ we don’t mean terminal teams or pilots, we mean the people who work near the planes. Anyone who works in baggage handling, plane mechanics, fuelers and any other job that means you will be out in the runway a lot, are at high risk for developing noise-induced hearing loss. Planes are loud, there’s no getting away from that fact, so if you work in an airport and are around planes a lot, you need to be wearing ear protection to protect your hearing.

2. Factory engineers

If you work in a factory with loud machinery, then you need to be wearing ear protection at all times; in fact, it’s likely already required by your employer. Of course, ear protection won’t be necessary across the whole factory, just across the areas where it’s rather loud. As such, anyone working in the administrative departments or in the packaging departments wouldn’t need to wear hearing protection, just the people working in the actual manufacturing parts would need this kind of protection.

3. Construction work

It’s a well-known fact that construction work can be loud, which is why construction workers should always wear ear protection when working with loud machinery. Many large tools used on construction sites reach decibel (dB) levels that far exceed the recommended 85 dB. Ear protection won’t be required for everyone or every task but anyone who is using tools like a jackhammer, for instance, which can be nearly as loud as a running plane engine, needs to wear ear protection at all times.

4. Musicians

Of course, you want to be able to hear what you’re playing, but if you are playing in a large area such as a stadium or arena where there are huge speakers, you may be at risk of damaging your ears. That’s why you may want to consider wearing earplugs or earmuffs at certain times to help prevent your hearing being damaged by any loud sounds that occur. Music is amazing to listen to, but when the speakers are set too loud, it can damage your hearing for good, which is why it’s so important to be mindful of health and safety and your hearing.

There you have it, a guide to the kinds of roles where ear protection is crucial.