Can workplace noise have psychological consequences?
As you are aware, loud noises can damage your hearing, as well as cause other physical problems, such as tinnitus and migraines. However, you and other Californians may not realize that chronic noise, even on a quieter level, may have damaging mental effects that can potentially affect your ability to perform your job.
A high level of noise is associated with many industries, such as law enforcement, construction, mining and military work. You don’t have to work in an extremely loud environment to suffer from noise pollution
, as the Houston Chronicle explains. All it might take is a busy office or a job with occasional, regular bursts of noise to give you anxiety and other psychological problems.
For example, you might find it difficult and irritating to concentrate on finishing your deadlines if others in your office are always loudly gossiping and laughing. The constant beeping or clacking of workplace machinery, or the annoying radio station your manager insists on playing loud enough for the whole office to hear, might affect your job performance. Sudden noises might also be common in your workplace, which are not loud enough to damage your hearing but could startle you. Any of these situations might result in chronic stress, irritation, anxiety and distraction. Some workplace noises might even trigger post-traumatic stress disorder if you suffer from this condition.
It comes as no surprise that working while being chronically stressed, irritable or frightened can affect your efficiency and quality of life. A psychological disorder caused by workplace conditions may fall under workers’ compensation eligibility standards.