When we think about a workplace injury, we usually think of broken bones, back injuries, head trauma, or severe injuries that require immediate medical attention. Many workers are unaware that injuries and illnesses that develop over time are also covered by Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. An article in USA Today last fall highlights one of those injuries that may go uncompensated because workers’ may not be aware it is considered a workplace injury – hearing loss at work.
Hearing Loss Caused by Your Job
The article highlights one worker’s struggle with hearing loss caused by his job. The article also points out that workplace-related hearing loss is the most common workplace injury according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 22 million people work in jobs that expose them to hazardous levels of occupational noise. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor, requires employers to provide ear protection under certain circumstances.
Some industry experts and employee safety advocates claim that the regulations and requirements are not sufficient to protect all employees from hearing loss at work. Even low levels of noise can cause damage over an extended period of time. Employees need to understand their rights regarding noise levels at work and how to protect themselves from noise-related injuries.
Tips for Protecting Your Hearing While at Work
Below are several ways employees can protect themselves from noise-related hearing loss while at work.
- Always wear ear protection (i.e. ear plugs, ear muffs, etc.)
- Monitor your hearing level with regular evaluations by a professional
- Eliminate unnecessary sources of noise by turning off machines that are not in use
- Know the warning signs of hearing loss and when to see a doctor
Employers should take steps to reduce the risk of noise-related hearing loss for their employees. Some of the steps employers can take to reduce noise levels at work include:
- Purchase quiet machinery that produces less noise for employees
- Provide training and education for employees, supervisors, and managers regarding hearing loss and safety measures
- Institute a job rotation to decrease noise exposure
- Use sound dampers or silencers
- Create noise barriers
- Implement regular audiometric testing for all employees
Contact A Boca Raton Workers’ Comp Attorney For Help With Hearing Loss At Work
If you believe you have suffered hearing loss at work, contact our office immediately for a free consultation with a Florida workers’ comp attorney. You may be entitled to benefits for your hearing loss. However, don’t put off consulting with an attorney. You have a limited time to file a claim for hearing-related injuries once you are aware of the damage.
Likewise, if your employer is refusing to acknowledge your hearing loss, you need to contact our office immediately. Our attorneys will review your case and provide sound legal advice regarding your options.
Contact our office today 1-800-333-3903 to speak with an attorney. The Broderick Law Firm, P.L.