Q My job isn’t full of loud noises on a regular basis. Does that mean my hearing loss isn’t work-related?
No. While most employees assume that work-related hearing loss can only be caused by constant exposure to a loud work environment, victims can receive workers’ comp for noise-induced hearing loss in many ways.
According to recent OSHA statistics, over 30 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise on the job each year. Constant high-sound levels contribute to hearing loss, but other on-the-job exposure also causes aural injuries, including:
- Repetitive or occasional noise levels above the safety norm. Many workers shrug off the buzzing and beeping noises of their work environment, not realizing that even these occasional sounds can contribute to hearing problems in the future.
- Sudden noises or explosions. Loud bangs, crashes, or other sudden noises may damage or perforate eardrums, causing permanent loss of hearing.
- Ototoxic agents, such as solvents and metals. As many as nine million workers per year suffer hearing loss due to chemical toxicity.
While workers in industrial occupations are more likely to be exposed to dangerous noise levels, the truth is that any employee can be at risk for noise-induced hearing loss in the workplace. OSHA reports that nearly half of all carpenters and plumbers report perceived hearing loss during their careers—a risk that only increases the longer they continue working.
If you have suffered hearing loss on the job, New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. can help you get the benefits you deserve. Call (877) 360-0183 today, or fill out the contact form on this page to get your FREE, one-on-one case evaluation. You can also download our FREE electronic book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers Comp Guide.