Unfortunately, many workers in a number of occupations are exposed to dangerous levels of noise that can result in them suffering permanent hearing loss. This problem is larger than many people may think. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 30 million workers are exposed to dangerous noise levels on their jobs, and occupational hearing loss is one of the biggest occupational concerns in the United States.
Six Industries Where Workers Risk Occupational Hearing Loss
Some occupations pose a larger danger to a person’s eardrums than others. Common industries where workers risk hearing loss include:
- Manufacturing. Workers in factories and warehouses are exposed to dangerous levels of noise on the assembly line, working with heavy machinery, and working around forklifts and big trucks.
- Construction and carpentry. Construction workers and carpenters work with loud power tools and hammers daily. Construction workers are also exposed to dangerous noise levels from excavating equipment, cranes, forklifts, and jack hammers.
- Mining. Many miners are exposed to dangerous levels of noise in the tunnels when working with or being near coal cutters, heavy drills, picks, loud conveyor belts, and other heavy equipment.
- Entertainment. Bartenders, waitresses, security guards, and performers are exposed to extreme noise levels when music is played loudly at concerts, in bars, and at nightclubs.
- Airports. The sound of an airplane jet engine is one of the loudest occupational noise hazards. Workers at airports—especially those on the tarmacs—risk serious hearing loss.
- Teaching. Most people would not associate teaching with hearing loss; however, teachers are exposed to high levels of noise from loud hallways, bells announcing the start and end of class, and announcements.
Often a person will experience gradual changes to his hearing and may not even realize it is being caused by his job. If he suffers permanent hearing loss, surgery or hearing aids may not correct the problem. He can also suffer temporary hearing loss, such as feeling his ears are stuffed up or a ringing in his ears, which will go away in minutes or a few hours of leaving the noisy environment. However, these problems can become permanent when the worker is repeatedly exposed to too much noise.
If you suffered hearing loss caused by your job, you may be entitled to your lost wages and medical bills under workers’ compensation. Call us at (888) 348-2616 to schedule a free consultation to learn about the benefits you could be entitled to.