According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 22 million workers are exposed to dangerous noise levels each year. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOT), about $242 million every year is spent by employers on workers’ compensation benefits related to hearing loss. Some of the most affected industries include construction, mining, and manufacturing.
Regulations at Work
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has regulations regarding protections for workers who are exposed to continuous and loud noise levels at work. For construction workers, the limit is 90 decibels of noise within an eight hour period. For other workers, the limit is 85 decibels for an eight hour period. Critics say that these regulations are not strict enough and that levels do not factor in other loud noises that the worker may be exposed to outside of the work place.
A study conducted by Stanford University found that employees who work in particularly loud worksites have less risk than employees in moderate noise environments. This is because an employee who works in a loud workplace is more likely to faithfully use ear protection on a regular basis.
How can Hearing Loss be Prevented at Work?
There are other ways, aside from just wearing ear protection, to reduce hearing loss among workers. Employers can invest in quieter machines and tools. They can also install noise barriers in work areas. Often, employers may balk at the cost of these preventative measures. Quieter machines and tools may be exponentially more expensive than noisier varieties. However, experts point out that these measures could save employers money in the end due to worker turnover rates and expenses related to work injuries. The CDC has an online database with information about sound tools to educate employers and employees about this issue.
Compensation for Work-Related Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can cause ringing in the ears, sensitivity to sound, dizziness, and extreme pain in the ears. If an employee has hearing loss, it must be determined that the hearing loss is work-related in order for them to receive compensation. A skilled lawyer will be able to assess the situation and determine if their client is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Provide Legal Assistance to Workers with Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss because of conditions at work, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Our Downingtown worker’s compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC protect the rights of injured workers. We can assess your case and fight for you to get compensation for your hearing loss. Contact us online or call us at 610-594-1600 for a free consultation today. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.