Combatting Work-Related Hearing Loss
We have all been on the phone with or conversed with someone in person who said the phrase “huh?” just a bit too often. Hearing loss is prevalent here in the United States, especially among workers who regularly deal with noise exposure in the workplace as well as those who are injured in isolated incidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the United States and is actually more prevalent than diabetes or cancer.
In fact, about 22 million American workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work on an annual basis. Additionally, over 30 million U.S. workers are exposed to chemicals, some of which are harmful to the ear and hazardous to hearing, representing another workplace hazard. Because of the extent of these staggering numbers, it is important that every worker understand both how these workplace injuries occur – and how to prevent them.
How Does Work-Related Hearing Loss Occur?
Occupational hearing loss typically occurs in one of two ways. It can happen as a result of exposure to loud noises such as heavy machinery at a construction site to loud cutting equipment in a factory. Additionally, hearing loss can occur in the workplace as a result of physical trauma, such as a blow to the head or ear or an impact with a falling object.
What Jobs Place Workers At Risk?
While workers in any field can experience work-related hearing loss, jobs that commonly result in hearing loss include those who work in industries like:
- Plant and factory
- Airline ground maintenance
- Automotive manufacturing and racing
- Bartending and waitressing
- Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
How Can Workers Protect Themselves?
While some workplace accidents that cause hearing loss are totally unavoidable, you can help avoid others can by undertaking certain measures. For example, if you know you work on a noisy worksite, you can help to reduce the impact your workplace has on your hearing by:
- Wearing proper hearing protection
- Using ear plugs and other protective devices properly
- Scheduling regular hearing tests with your doctor
- Taking regular breaks throughout the day
Have You or a Loved One Suffered a Hearing Loss Injury as the Result of a Work-Related Incident or Noise Exposure?
Unfortunately, our senses are something that we don’t think much about until they become compromised. It can be especially hard when you suffer from hearing loss at your workplace as the consequences of this kind of work-related injury carry over into your regular day-to-day life. Importantly, you should understand that you are typically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits any time that you are injured at work during the scope of your employment. Workers’ compensation is supposed to be a no-hassle method of getting your medical care covered and your bills paid while you’re unable to work due to a job-related injury or illness. However, injured workers often encounter roadblocks to obtaining the benefits they deserve – and this is why you need the help of an experienced legal team. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates offer support, empathy, and experience. Begin pursuing your future by contacting us today.