There is a silent epidemic sweeping the nation, and most of us are blissfully unaware that it exists. That epidemic is Workplace Hearing Loss. And as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it impacts about forty-eight million Americans. What’s more, these statistics will keep growing as the population ages. As a result, companies need to be privy to the capability effect of hearing loss on their staff and take steps to defend their employees.
According to a study by the World Health Organization, 5% of people who are not exposed to occupational noise suffer from hearing loss. 25% of people exposed to occupational noise suffer from it. In other words, 1 in 4 worker has hearing loss. This problem will only worsen as the population ages, and more workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels daily.
Workplace Hearing Loss Injury
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study, approximately 22 million U.S. employees are exposed to unsafe noise levels. An estimated $242 million is spent yearly on the place of work hearing loss prevention programs. NIOSH also estimates that $1.5 billion is lost in worker productivity due to hearing loss.
The good news is that with the proper preventative measures, most cases of workplace hearing loss can get avoided. Employers have to defend their workers’ hearing by imposing engineering controls and supplying personal protection equipment. There are many potential reasons for hearing loss at work, with the most common one being noise exposure.
If you work in an environment where you are regularly exposed to loud noises, you will likely develop hearing loss. Other causes of hearing loss at work can include:
• Chemical exposure
• Repeated exposure to loud sounds
If you suspect that you may be experiencing Workplace Hearing Loss, it is essential to see a doctor. Hearing loss can get handled if identified early; however, it could cause everlasting harm if left untreated. To learn more about distinct varieties of hearing loss refer here.
Almost any job that involves machinery, construction, or loud noises can cause hearing loss over time. Some jobs are more likely to cause hearing loss than others.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, workers in California are at a high risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss. The CDC has named California one of 17 states with the highest rates of hearing loss in adults. The most common job-related injuries and illnesses are caused by contact with objects and vibrations, leading to hearing loss over time.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a report in March of 2018 that looked at jobs that have the potential to cause hearing loss. The study found that the following jobs have the highest risk for workers in California:
- Construction Laborers
- Operating Engineers and Construction Equipment Operators
- Electrical Power-Line Installers
- First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades
- Extraction Workers
- Derrick, Tower, and Roughnecks, Oil and Gas
If you work in one of these industries, it is essential to be aware of the risks and take precautions to protect your hearing.
What to do if you sustain Hearing loss at Workplace?
If your hearing loss is affected due to your job, you can get workers’ compensation. Following are a few conditions required to be eligible for workers’ compensation.
- First, your injury or illness must have occurred while performing your job duties.
- Second, your injury or illness must result from your employer’s negligence.
If you meet these requirements, you may be able to receive benefits such as medical expenses, income replacement, and disability.
Workers who have hearing loss are at a higher risk for several other health problems, including falls, stress, and depression. If you or a loved one is affected by hearing loss, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. We at Gaylord and Nantais can help explore the effects of hearing loss on workers and provide some advice on managing the situation. You can find more information on our website or give us a call at (805) 800-8799.