Can Hearing Loss be Considered a Workplace Injury?

Work-related hearing loss is not something you read about very often. Mostly, when workplace injuries are in the headlines it is because of catastrophic accidents, injuries, or failures. Rarely do we consider the health of our most fundamental senses.

While hearing loss may not be a common topic, it is a very common problem. In fact, in 2016, hearing loss was considered the most common workplace injury in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 22 million workers are exposed to “hazardous levels of occupational noise” each year.

What Work Environments Cause Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss is most common in workplaces that include machinery, equipment, or loud noises in enclosed spaces. Some of these work environments include:

·         Manufacturing

·         Mining

·         Construction

·         Landscaping

·         Farming

·         Musicians

·         Airport workers

Anyone who works around loud noise should be careful to take safety precautions to protect their hearing.

Can I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Hearing Loss?

Employers are required to maintain a safe working environment, including providing proper training and safety gear when necessary. If you work around loud equipment but are not provided proper protective gear, then you are being placed at risk for hearing loss.

If you are suffering from hearing loss that you believe is work-related, you should speak with an audiologist about your concerns. Let the doctor know about your work environment and when the problems started. Workers’ compensation claims related to hearing loss can be complicated, so it is important to get a diagnosis and document any injury that caused your hearing loss.