Constant and prolonged exposure to excessive noise at the workplace can damage your hearing. Depending on the extent of exposure, a worker may suffer hearing impairment as well.
Noise can be defined as sound that is undesired, interferes with normal hearing, and is noticeably unpleasant.
Work Comp for Injuries Caused by Noise Exposure
Noise level is measured in decibels and the higher the decibel level, the louder the noise will be. Noise louder than 85 dB can cause permanent hearing loss. A worker can suffer hearing loss as a result of constant and prolonged exposure to noise or by a loud blast or explosion. According to the statistics available with the United States Department of Labor, close to 30 million people are exposed to harmful noise levels at their workplaces every year. Noise exposure has been listed as one of the most common and widely prevalent occupational hazards in the United States.
Noise exposure can come from a wide range of sources including machines, tools, equipment, and instruments. It can also come from clanging, banging, and hammering sounds at the workplace. An occupational or accidental blast at the workplace can also cause hazardous noise exposure.
Occupations with Higher Risk of Noise Exposure
Almost every workplace has some noise level, but there are certain types of jobs in which workers are exposed to dangerous noise levels. The jobs with higher risk of noise exposure include:
- agricultural and farming
- jobs involving loud machinery or music
- construction work
- airline ground maintenance
- assembly line and manufacturing
- any kind of work involving blasting
Injuries Caused by Noise Exposure
Constant noise exposure can cause a variety of hearing-related problems. The most common injury caused by noise exposure is damage to hearing. Short-term exposure can cause a stuffy feeling in the ears and tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Short-term hearing problems usually resolve within a few minutes or hours, but prolonged and constant exposure to harmful noise levels can cause permanent hearing loss. Workers who are exposed to harmful noise levels can also face other problems in addition to hearing loss:
- reduced productivity
- physical and psychological stress
- heightened risk of workplace accidents
- interfering with communication and concentration
- impaired ability to communicate
Work Injury Lawyer St. Louis
If you think your hearing loss is a result of occupational exposure to noise, contact a St. Louis work injury lawyer to help you make a claim for work compensation benefits. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 for a case evaluation.