Hearing loss is indeed covered under workers’ compensation. Of course, workers must demonstrate that the hearing loss is associated with the conditions in their workplace. This could be due to trauma to the head or ear or from long-term exposure to loud noise. In some industries, it may be easier than in others to prove that hearing loss is tied to their employment. How the injury was caused, and the severity of the hearing impairment will affect how much workers’ compensation the employee can recover.
Hearing Loss Is Often Associated with Construction Work
One industry where hearing loss can be quite common is in the construction industry. The National Institute for Occupational Safety estimates that 30 million workers are exposed each year to potentially damaging loud noises. Approximately, three out of four construction workers are overexposed to noise. This is because almost every job on a construction site involves loud equipment.
Even if workers do not actually experience a reduction in hearing loss, they could also experience tinnitus, which could be experienced as a constant sound or a ringing in the ears. Tinnitus can have a major impact on the quality of life for individuals since it can interfere with sleep or their ability to be in social gatherings.
Studying and Addressing the Problem of Hearing Impairment
A study which looked at American construction workers found that 16 percent of construction workers tested positive for some form of hearing impairment, and about three percent have moderate impairment or worse.
Additionally, the CDC found that the construction industry has reduced healthy work years for every 1,000 employees by approximately three years. The CDC recommends regular hearing tests for workers in industries where they are regularly exposed to loud noises. Early intervention can sometimes help workers from experiencing more severe hearing loss.
Often, by the time damage is detected by the individual just through daily living, it may be too late to be remedied. Furthermore, workers with hearing loss are then at a greater risk of injury since they are less likely to hear hazards or warnings from another worker around them.
Some ways to reduce noise include:
- Improving design methods: Improving where ducts are incorporated into walls during the manufacturing stage can reduce noise.
- Investing in improved power tools: Obtain tools that are quieter than previous generations of power tools.
- Reducing noises of other machinery on the construction site: Reducing noises on the construction site can be helpful, such as the noise a vehicle makes while reversing. New reversing alarms are on the market that are less jarring to the ears.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Can Help If You Suspect You Have Hearing Loss Due to Work Conditions
If you have hearing loss because of work conditions, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Depending on the facts of the case, injured workers could possibly be entitled to additional types of recovery. Our accomplished Downingtown worker’s compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC can assess the merits of your case with a free consultation. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 today. With an office in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.