The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that occupational hearing loss affects about 22 million Americans each year. This makes it one of the most common work-related illnesses in the country! So what’s behind this growing problem? The two most common causes of occupational hearing loss are:
- Hazardous noise levels at work
- Exposure to ototoxic chemicals that can be harmful to the ear
Occupational hearing loss has become such a problem that the United States Department of Labor estimates an annual spend of over $240 million in workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability. Last year alone, U.S. businesses paid upwards of $1.5 million in penalties for failing to protect workers from unsafe noise levels.
Warning Signs that Your Workplace May Be Too Noisy
How loud is too loud? If you have to ask yourself this question, it may be time to reevaluate the noise safety levels at your workplace. Start paying attention to the following:
- Coworkers have to raise their voices, or even shout, in order for you to hear them.
- When you leave work, you hear ringing or humming.
- You suffer from temporary hearing loss when you leave work.
If any of these are true for you, consider bringing the matter to the attention of your employer. It may be time to regulate the noise levels at your workplace.
How to Reduce Noise Hazards at Work
Noise controls help protect employees who are exposed to excessive noise on the job. These include:
- Administrative controls that call for changes in the workplace, for the purpose of reducing or entirely eliminating a worker’s exposure to noise.
- Engineering controls that call for modifying or replacing equipment that produces an excessive amount of noise.
- Hearing protection devices, i.e. ear plugs or earmuffs that protect workers from the harmful effects of extreme noise at work.
Suffering from Occupational Hearing Loss? Call Our Legal Team Today.
If your employer failed to take the proper precautions to protect you from excessive noise, and you’re now suffering from occupational hearing loss as a result, the Law Offices of Wax & Wax can help. Our team of workers’ compensation attorneys represents injured employees in Glendale and surrounding areas throughout Los Angeles. Call us today to get started.