When one considers common workplace injuries, slip and fall accidents that cause cuts, bruises, and broken bones come to mind. Surprisingly, the most common workplace injury is hearing loss – and it is entirely preventable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 22 million American workers are exposed to dangerous noise levels on the job. Hearing loss can severely affect a person’s quality of life – preventing them from working, driving, or just enjoying some of their regular daily activities. With education, training, and basic safety equipment, workers are easily protected from this common workplace hazard.
Risk of Hearing Loss
The risk of hearing loss is greatest in industries that use loud machinery, like construction and manufacturing. Most workers in these high noise level jobs are protected by ear protection gear. A recent Stanford University study found that employees in low to medium noise level environments are actually most at risk for hearing loss. Because employers are often unaware that risk still exists at prolonged exposure to low and medium noise levels, they fail to properly protect their employees.
Protecting Workers From Hearing Loss
Several federal agencies have programs to educate workers about and protect workers from the dangers of hearing loss. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide training, testing, and safety protection for workers exposed to noise levels of 85 decibels or higher for eight or more hours a day. OSHA’s maximum permitted noise level is 90 decibels per eight hours of exposure.
Both the Department of Labor and the CDC currently have campaigns to reduce hearing loss in the workplace. Their efforts include educating employers on quieter equipment and machinery options, encouraging the use of technology that tracks noise exposure, and recommending the construction of noise barriers.
Options for Workers
Workers who suffer from hearing loss caused by workplace exposure to excessive loud noise may be entitled to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. The validity of a Workers’ Compensation claim for hearing loss depends upon the state where the worker is employed and how severe the loss is. Injured workers must prove that hearing loss occurred on the job to file a claim.
Workers with hearing loss are often unable to perform their job functions safely and cannot work as a result. Workers suffering hearing loss from high levels of noise on the job should contact a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer quickly to ensure they receive the benefits they deserve. It is crucial that injured workers with hearing loss document the noise levels at their workplace and provide medical records verifying hearing loss.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Jeffrey S. Gross Fights for Victims of Workplace Hearing Loss
When a worker is injured, they may have a legitimate Workers’ Compensation claim. Employees who become ill or injured at work are entitled to receive crucial benefits to help with medical expenses and lost income. Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the law firm of Jeffrey S. Gross know how to prove Workers’ Compensation claims in Pennsylvania.Without the right documentation, Workers’ Compensation claims can be compromised and benefits lost. Schedule a free, confidential consultation with a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer by calling 267-589-0090, or by filling out our online contact form.