Excessive industrial noise exposure has been shown to cause occupational hearing loss, which accounts for around 24% of hearing loss among U.S. workers.
Industrialization is arguably one of the best things that have happened to humanity. However, just like any other thing in this world, there are also downsides to industrialization. One of the biggest negative aspects of industrialization is industrial noise.
Excessive industrial noise exposure has been shown to have harmful effects on human health. The most common health issue it causes is occupational hearing loss, which accounts for about 24% of hearing loss among U.S. workers.
Workers Prone to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Noise-induced hearing loss can affect any worker, regardless of their industry, but some workers are more prone to noise-induced hearing loss than others. They include:
- Factory workers
- Entertainment venue employees
- Construction workers
- Coaches and game officials
- Teachers and cafeteria workers
Employer’s Duty to Prevent Hearing Loss in the Workplace
OSHA states that workers should not be exposed to noise above 85 dBA over eight working hours. Employers are also required to provide protective gear like fitted earplugs or earmuffs. Employers are also encouraged to:
- Invest in noise-absorbent materials
- Replace noisy machinery with models that are more sound efficient
- Create an efficient workflow that will help keep as many workers as possible away from the noise
Suppose you have raised concerns about noise problems with your employer but continue to experience high noise exposure. In that case, you may consider filing a whistleblower complaint with OSHA.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
If you have occupational hearing loss, you may start to notice that:
- You need to increase the volume of your Television to hear
- You hear persistent buzzing and roaring sounds around your ear
- You can hear sounds like clock alarms, doorbells, telephones, or birds singing
- You struggle to hear what other people are saying and keep asking them to repeat it again
Recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss will help you treat it before it gets worse.
You Have an Occupational-Related Hearing Impairment: What are Your Rights?
If you discover you have a hearing impairment and believe it’s work-related, you may be entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits. Some of the damages you could get compensated for include wage losses and medical expenses.
How much can you expect to receive? The amount you receive in compensation will generally depend on the severity of your hearing loss and the degree to which your life is affected.
Your workers’ comp claim won’t be approved automatically. You have to prove your hearing impairment is work-related, which is not necessarily easy. You see, because occupational hearing loss occurs gradually, it can be hard for you to find evidence to support your claim. This is why it’s important to seek the help of an experienced Missouri workers’ comp attorney. An experienced workers’ comp attorney will help you collect evidence, file your claim, and negotiate with the insurer on your behalf.
If you have occupational hearing loss, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We can evaluate your case for free and help you determine what steps to take to protect your right to compensation.
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