Hearing Loss on the Job
Hearing loss is surprisingly common, especially among workers exposed to loud and constant noise. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates around 30 million U.S. workers are exposed to potentially dangerous levels of noise in the workplace each year. The safety limit on decibel (dB) levels is 90dB, but some industries require to exposure to sounds much louder than this.
Manufacturing and mining account for the highest amount of reported hearing loss among workers, closely followed by construction workers. A jackhammer, for example, is about 100dB. Without protective gear, severe damage could occur after 8 hours of exposure to this noise. Steel mills and riveting machines can be around 110 dB. A chain saw can be as loud as a thunderclap at 120 decibels.
While many efforts have been made to encourage the use of hearing protection in these industries, people still experience hearing loss on the job. The incidence of hearing loss among military personnel has remained mostly unchanged since the 1980s.
Hearing loss is also permanent and irreversible. Part of hearing relies on tiny hairs in the ear that help translate sound vibrations into electrical signals transmitted to your brain. Too much exposure to loud noise can cause wear and tear on these hairs or never cells, and they never grow back once damaged or destroyed.
Another part of the problem lies in the income bracket of blue-collar workers. They are usually the ones exposed to such high levels of noise, meaning they account for most of the occupational hearing loss group. However, they are the least able to pay $3,000 to $7,000 for a pair of good hearing aids, which is the only way to recover some measure of hearing after heavy damage.
If you’ve sustained hearing loss at work, make sure to inform your supervisor as soon as possible and seek treatment from a medical professional. A skilled doctor can help evaluate how much damage your work has done, and workers’ compensation can help pay for your medical bills and, potentially, your hearing aids.
Hearing loss can be particularly devastating to many people. Not only is it harder to hear loved ones and friends, but also taking in forms of entertainment can be difficult. It may be more difficult to listen to the radio and watch television. Likewise, it’s much more dangerous. People rely on their eyesight as well as their hearing whenever they drive.
Talk to us about your situation if you’re interested in filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, if you’ve already submitted a claim and you’ve been denied, let us help. Our skilled Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys have helped hundreds of workers successfully seek compensation for their medical bills and lost wages. Leonard Law Group can offer you decades of combined legal experience. We also work on a contingency fee basis, because we don’t want you to have to worry about finances; our firm doesn’t collect legal fees unless we can win your case. Let us see what we can do for you.
Contact us at (312) 487-2513 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today. We look forward to speaking with you.