Not all work injuries are as sudden as a broken bone from a fall. Some injuries and conditions develop overtime when workers are exposed to regular hazards in the workplace.
One of these injuries that affects a surprising number of workers each year is hearing loss.
Occupational hearing loss is more common than workers think
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hearing loss is one of the most common occupational conditions that workers face.
Naturally, the most common cause of occupational hearing loss is exposure to extreme noise levels on the job. And roughly 22 million workers face exposure to dangerous noises each year.
Which workers face the highest risk?
Generally, noises above 85 decibels are harmful to the human ear. Many fields of employment expose workers to sounds above this level, including:
- Construction work;
- Airline groundwork;
- Manufacturing work; and
- Emergency response.
In these lines of work, where workers face exposure to loud noises regularly, employers are required to provide personal protective equipment. This means that workers should have access to earplugs or noise-canceling headphones.
After all, wearing protective gear is the most effective way to prevent hearing loss.
Can workers collect workers’ compensation for hearing loss?
Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws cover hearing loss. However, workers must be able to connect their hearing loss directly to their work.
Proving this connection can be complex. In these cases, it is often beneficial for workers to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before moving forward to collect compensation.