Hearing Loss – A Common Workplace Injury
Call centers. Loud heavy equipment. Sound systems. All of them contribute to hearing loss on the job.
Did you know hearing loss is the most common workplace injury, according to the Center for Disease Control? It can happen to anyone in any industry, but it is most prevalent among manufacturing and industrial workers. In fact, among those industries, hearing loss accounts for one in every nine recordable workplace injuries.
Causes of Hearing Loss at Work
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, hearing loss at work is caused by prolonged exposure to vibration or sound. Some occupations at risk for hearing loss include airline maintenance, farming, construction, sheet metal and assembly line work. Occupations that involve loud machinery – like a jackhammer – also have high risk of exposure.
Treatment for Occupational Hearing Loss
Occupational hearing loss is usually permanent. Treatment includes the use of hearing aids, and using protection like earplugs to prevent further hearing loss and damage.
Workers suffering from hearing loss may also receive training in lip reading or other techniques that improve communication.
An employer is responsible for the safety of employees. Occupational safety standards regulate noise levels and require employers to monitor sound decibels to reduce the risk of hearing damage. For example, if sound levels reach 100 decibels, the National Institute of Health recommends no more than 15 minutes of unprotected prolonged exposure. Employees who suffer from workplace hearing loss have the right to receive payment for medical bills and treatment through the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance policy. The policy also pays lost wages as well as long-term disability costs if hearing loss is permanent.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
It’s imperative that you contact a personal injury lawyer if your job has cost you your hearing. If you live in the greater San Diego area – a San Diego workplace injury attorney like Steven Elia can save you time and money in preparing and handling your workplace injury case.