Are You Protected?
Occupational hearing loss is a serious problem that affects millions of workers around the globe. At Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman, our workers ‘ compensation lawyers have seen the devastating effects that hearing loss in the workplace can have on employees and their families. Regardless of the job you do, it’s critical to ensure your hearing is protected.
Common Jobs That Contribute To Hearing Loss
Manufacturing: Noise in manufacturing facilities is the number one cause of workplace hearing loss in the United States. Nearly half of all factory workers have been exposed to hazardous noise levels, according to The Centers for Disease Control. Although OSHA has strict regulations in place to protect workers, many companies fail to enforce these regulations and don’t provide proper gear to keep their employees safe.
Construction: Whether it’s using a jackhammer for an hour or operating a dump truck, all construction workers are vulnerable to occupational hearing loss and damage. There’s no shortage of loud noises on job sites, and a jackhammer can reach levels of about 120 decibels, which not only affects the person who’s using it, but everyone around them. Chain saws, tile cutters, and even the continuous sound of something as simple as a hammer can affect your hearing. One-time events, such as a demo explosion, can also cause workplace hearing loss.
Entertainment: Musicians and those working in entertainment venues and stadiums are also at risk of hearing loss in the workplace. Regardless of the type of music, if you’re continually exposed to it, you may suffer from hearing problems. Noise from crowds in restaurants and sporting events can also be a factor when it comes to hearing loss.
First responders and military personnel:Continuous exposure to sirens, helicopters, gunfire, explosions, and other loud noises can have a devastating effect on your hearing.
Dental and medical professionals: Dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants work closely with high-frequency drills and other dental equipment daily. High-frequency hearing loss can impact your ability to hear sounds like S, T, and V. And depending on the field they’re in, some surgeons, surgical staff, and nurses can experience hearing loss due to the instruments and tools they use.
Some other types of workers that are more prone to occupational hearing loss include elementary school teachers, cafeteria workers and servers, janitorial and maintenance employees, and farm workers.
Are You Protected From Hearing Loss In The Workplace?
All employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for employees. OSHA regulations vary, depending on the type of industry. If your employer fails to follow OSHA guidelines and provide proper protocol and gear, they may be liable for any injuries that occur. Some things you can do to prevent hearing loss in the workplace include:
Wearing ear protection. Properly fitted earplugs or sound-canceling earmuffs can make a significant difference when it comes to protecting your hearing. Whether it’s putting in earplugs while you’re on the playground or wearing earmuffs on the assembly line, taking proactive steps to protect your hearing is never a bad idea.
Having your hearing tested regularly: Seeing an audiologist periodically can help you monitor any hearing damage or loss. Your doctor can assess your hearing and talk to you about ways to reduce your risk factors. They can also provide options, such as custom-fitted earplugs.
What To Do If You’ve Experienced Workplace Hearing Loss
If your hearing has deteriorated due to your work environment, make a report with your supervisor and seek medical attention. Contact an experienced workers’ comp lawyer who can assess your case and advise you on the most effective course of action to take. If you believe that your employer has violated OSHA regulations when it comes to hearing protection, you may be able to recover additional compensation. An attorney can help you understand your rights as an injured worker and collect vital evidence to back up your claim.
Contact A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Have you suffered workplace hearing loss that’s affecting your quality of life? Our skilled legal team can help. Call Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman at 201-798-2711 in Jersey City or 973-874-0556 in Newfoundland, New Jersey. You can also contact us online to ask questions or schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout New Jersey.