Workers in the mining, construction, and manufacturing industries have an increased risk of suffering hearing loss or auditory damage because of hazardous noise in their work environments. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hearing loss is the most common work-related injury in the U.S. today. Workers who have suffered auditory damage as a result of jobsite noise collect roughly $242 million in Workers' Compensation benefits each year, and some authorities are now questioning whether or not enough is being done to prevent hazardous levels of noise in the workplace.
Dated Standards, Lack of Training Lead to Injuries
Most workplace noise regulations were created in the 1970s and have not been updated since then. Because general noise in the environment has increased over the past 40 years, the outdated regulations may not be sensitive enough to protect workers from hearing loss in today's world. People in general are exposed to more noise each day than they were 40 years ago and, as a result, may be more susceptible to hearing injuries than workers in the past. Cumulative exposure to noise must be considered when determining acceptable sound level limits.
Another problem is a lack of training and education for employees. Although employers are required to provide workers with protective equipment to reduce the risk of hearing loss, such equipment is only effective if employees choose to use it. Many employees are unaware of the risks and choose to forgo hearing protection provided by employers. Studies show that workers in high noise environments are actually less likely to suffer auditory damage than workers in moderate noise environments because when the danger is obvious, workers are more likely to wear their protective gear.
Unfortunately, there are also companies that will attempt to cut costs by skimping on protective gear for workers. Small companies often fail to provide advanced protective gear for workers because they are trying to keep costs down. Many workers are not even aware that they should be wearing hearing protection on the job.
Symptoms of auditory damage can range from mild to debilitating. If you have experienced ear pain or hearing loss as a result of jobsite noise, call Rone & Kowalski, LLC the Bridgeton Workers' Compensation Lawyers at 609-476-4044 x 203 or contact us online for a free consultation. Our attorneys fight to ensure that injured workers in Bridgeton receive the full and fair compensation they deserve for job-related injuries.