Hearing loss in adults is often thought of as part of the aging process. However, hearing loss can happen to adults at any age, and you may not be aware that the job you do can be putting you at risk. Occupational hearing loss is the third most common non-acute condition among adults after hypertension and arthritis, making it a serious public health concern. One-quarter of hearing impairment among American workers is from workplace exposure. The condition can be caused by one time or repeated occupational exposure. Hearing loss can be a debilitating condition that affects quality of life, employment, and regular daily activities. Because occupational hearing loss is a preventable condition, it is important for workers to be aware of the risks.
Hazards and Prevention
Hearing loss from workplace exposure typically happens in one of two ways. Exposure can be caused by noise that is over 85 decibels, which is a risk associated with a variety of occupations. Examples include construction, mining, manufacturing, automotive, landscaping, demolition, and numerous other industries, where increased noise is part of the work environment. Exposure can also come from inhalation of chemicals that cause damage to the inner ear. Otoxic chemicals are those which affect the ear and include solvents, heavy metals, and carbon monoxide.
If workplace noise is at unsafe levels, it is critical to immediately begin to protect hearing from further damage. Employers are required to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees, which can include ear, eye, and breathing protection. Employees should take steps to minimize the risk, such as reducing time spent near the source of the noise. In cases where chemicals are a potential source of hearing damage, use available respirators and follow all recommended chemical safety precautions. Employment laws require this data to be available and posted for all employees who work with chemicals of any kind.
If you believe you experienced hearing loss due to workplace exposure, report the injury and seek medical treatment. Workers’ compensation laws protect workers and provide medical treatment and lost wages for workplace illnesses and injuries. Because the workers’ compensation claims process can be daunting for an employee to negotiate, consult with an experienced work injury lawyer. Insurance companies and employers can unjustly limit or deny compensation claims, so it is important to have skilled legal advice to protect your rights and obtain the medical care you require.
Cherry Hill Work Injury Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Work on Behalf of Injured Workers
The Cherry Hill work injury lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP have a track record of advocating for those who experience a workplace illness or injury. We will fight to obtain the medical care and compensation you need. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden, Cinnaminson, Delran, Maple Shade, and Pennsauken. For a free consultation regarding your case, please complete our online form or call us at 856-761-3773.