Industrial hearing loss (occupational deafness or noise-induced hearing loss) is a hearing impairment due to prolonged exposure to excessive noise at work.
Although its prevalence is falling after the introduction of acts to control noise levels in the workplace, it still affects 10,000,000 people in the US.
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What is industrial hearing loss?
In some professions, workers are routinely subjected to loud noise (construction, engineering, factory production, mining, etc.). Regular exposure to consistently high noise levels without adequate ear protection damages the structures of the ear over time, thereby reducing the ability to hear properly.
Industrial deafness can sometimes be a temporary condition, although there are many cases where the hearing loss is permanent. If the symptoms of industrial deafness are noticed and treated early enough, then the chance of the hearing loss becoming permanent is greatly reduced.
You may be suffering from a case of industrial deafness if you find that you are struggling to hear others speak or often need to turn up the volume on a TV or radio and you work in an environment where the noise level is frequently above 80dB level.
Continue Reading: Causes of Industrial Deafness >
Types of Industrial deafness
Loss of hearing can occur naturally as part of the aging process, for instance, but workers in particular industries or in jobs where noisy tools need to be used regularly will be more susceptible to developing a case of industrial deafness.
Symptoms of Industrial deafness
- Temporary or permanent lack of hearing in one or both ears.
- Difficulty hearing conversations.
- Struggling to hear speech with background noise.
- Having to increase TV or radio sound to hear it properly.
- Constant ringing, buzzing, hissing, roaring, or ticking noises.
Continue Reading: Symptoms of Industrial Deafness >
How to prevent industrial deafness and Accidents at Work
If the noise is 80db then employers are duty-bound to provide training and information to their employees regarding the risks, as well as providing sufficient hearing protection.
All employers have a duty of care to follow the guidelines laid out by the Regulations to make sure their employees are not at risk of developing any form of hearing damage while at work. The Regulations include different activity levels for different levels of noise in the workplace.
Actions that both employers and employees can take to reduce the risk of industrial deafness and accidents at work are:
- Provide employees with sufficient information and training regarding noise levels in the workplace.
- Provide employees with adequate hearing protection equipment and ensure that they are worn correctly and at all times.
- Legal limits on noise exposure are never exceeded.
- Noise level risk assessments are carried out thoroughly, correctly, and regularly.
- Minimize the level of noise in the workplace where possible.
- Make sure that hearing protection is used correctly and at the right times.
- Ensure you are correctly trained to use equipment in the workplace.
- Make sure that all hearing protection is correctly maintained.
- Do not stay in areas with high levels of noise for periods of time which are longer than necessary.
Continue Reading: How To Prevent Industrial Deafness? >
Making a claim for Accidents at Work
Hearing loss workers’ compensation benefits are largely undiscovered benefits covering hearing health care, which is often uninsured. Many health insurance policies and programs like Medicare do not cover hearing aid purchases but workers’ compensation can.
It also pays for the disability of hearing loss just as it does for the loss of eyesight or other injuries. Aging populations, advances in technology, and greater sensitivity to hearing loss are bringing more attention to financing hearing health care. For the most part, those who qualify for hearing loss workers’ compensation benefits are retired hearing-impaired workers who live on fixed incomes.
Always feel free to ask Johnson Law Offices about the process, the law, or an individual case. The legal, medical, and audio-metric questions that come into play in a hearing loss workers compensation claim can be complicated.
The claims require attention to detail mixed with an ability to work well with hearing-impaired retirees and their families, especially spouses, and their hearing health care professionals.
If you were employed in a workplace where you were exposed to noise, and your hearing has deteriorated over time, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. You must be able to prove that your employer could have prevented your hearing loss and that it was caused through your employment.
Compensation awarded for industrial deafness claims varies depending on the level of hearing loss and the number of earnings.
Continue Reading: What Is My Industrial Deafness Claim Worth? >