Occupational Hearing Loss

One of the most common causes of hearing loss is a noisy work environment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly four million workers are exposed to damaging noise levels at their workplace every day, 10 million Americans suffer some form of noise-related hearing loss, and upwards of 22 million workers experience some form of potentially damaging noise each year. So, what defines a damaging level of hearing loss? The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends that “worker exposures to noise should be controlled below a level equivalent to 85 dBA for eight hours to minimize occupational noise-induced hearing loss.”

To put this in perspective, a lawn mower or city traffic is, on average, about 88 dBA. The sound of an electric drill is about 94 dBA, and at this level, you can experience hearing damage with one hour of exposure (without hearing protection). A motorcycle gives off about 97 dBA of noise and can cause hearing damage in about 30 minutes. Based on this information, as well as many other elements, the occupations that pose the greatest risk of hearing damage include:

  • Firefighters

  • Police officers

  • Factory workers

  • Miners

  • Construction workers

  • Military personnel

  • Musicians

  • Office staff in crowded buildings

If you’re exposed to hazardous noise at work, your employer needs to provide hearing protection and should provide annual hearing tests to make sure that employees are well-protected. If you or someone you know is an employee in a loud workplace, some warning signs of potential hearing loss include muffled or distorted sounds, diminished ability to hear high-pitched noises, ringing or roaring in the ears, difficulty understanding others in conversation, and others.

 

Traumatic Ear Injury

Hearing loss is not solely limited to occupational hazards. In fact, you can suffer hearing loss due to a defective product, such as an air bag that unexpectedly goes off or headphones that malfunction. Other causes of traumatic ear injury and tinnitus often include defective firearms, head trauma in slips and falls or automobile accidents.

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Hearing Loss

Traumatic hearing loss is a serious injury that can present a wide range of both temporary and permanent consequences. In particularly severe cases, dramatic hearing loss can impact countless aspects of your life, from simple conversations with friends and family to work, education, and your favorite activities.

Recovering from and adjusting to permanent hearing loss can pose substantial expenses. If you’ve lost your hearing due to an accident, you can pursue compensation for the damages by getting the help from G. Gray Law.