Hearing loss can result from a spontaneous event, such as an explosion, or by constant exposure to loud noise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 22 million Americans suffer from occupational hearing loss each year. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that more than $240 million is spent on workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability claims annually.
Who Is at the Greatest Risk for Hearing Loss in the Workplace?
The most dangerous industries for hearing loss include:
- Food service
While temporary exposure to high decibel sounds may not permanently damage your hearing, constant exposure to loud noise on a daily basis will most likely lead to hearing loss. That is why workers must be extra careful and use proper protection to avoid permanent damage to their hearing. If you work in an environment where people have to shout to be heard, or there are loud noises from equipment and machines, it may put you at high risk for hearing loss. There are steps you can take to increase your safety.
Tips for Avoiding Hearing Loss in the Workplace
Although OSHA requires employers to provide hearing protection for environments at or above 90 decibels, current data shows that exposure to 85 decibels could result in hearing loss. In addition, some people may be more susceptible to hearing damage than others. Thus, even if your employer is not legally required to provide ear protection, it may be necessary to do so on your part.
The best way to avoid hearing damage is to wear ear protection. You can get ear plugs and other protective gear to protect your hearing, and you should check and see if your employer will provide hearing protection for you. Loud noise levels are dangerous, and once you have lost your hearing, it is impossible to get it back. Hearing loss is often considered catastrophic, because it permanently affects your ability to maintain gainful employment.
The Law Offices of Wax & Wax Is Here to Help
At the Law Offices of Wax & Wax, we are passionate about guiding injured workers through the California workers’ comp system. If you have suffered occupational hearing damage, our compassionate Glendale workers’ compensation attorneys will answer your questions and discuss your options for pursuing workers' compensation benefits.
Contact our firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.