Exposure to hazardous occupational noise is one of the most common workplace hazards in the United States. Since 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that approximately 125,000 workers have suffered significant or parmanent hearing loss.
Exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss, which cannot be cured. Some temporary hearing-related injuries incude tinnitus (a ringing in the ears) and temporary change in hearing (the ears may feel stuffed up). These typically only last no longer than a few hours, but repeated occurences can lead to permanent damage.
Hazardous noises can additionally create stress, interfere with productivity, and cause more work accidents. Hearing loss can seriously limit a person's ability to hear certain sounds and engage in conversation. It can lead to feelings of isolation, which can also lead to depression.
Signs Your Work Place is Dangeroulsy Noisy
If you hear a humming in your ears after work, have to shout to speak with a coworker who is an arm's length away, or if you experience temporary hearing loss when you leave for the day, you are being exposed to hazardous noise.
Addressing the Issue
There are many ways for your employer to go about reducing hazardous noises in the work place. One of these is properly maintaining and/or replacing equipment. Be sure to regularly lubricate all machinery, look for replacement machinery if a piece of equipment cannot be made quieter, and place barriers between employees and loud noise sources
Other options include limiting the amount of a time an employee spends with a noisey device and providing quiet areas where employees can give their ears a break from the loud noises.
Another very important solution is wearing proper ear protection. Examples include ear plugs, semi-insert ear plugs, and ear muffs. Your employer should provide all of these devices to help you select the kind of protection that is best for your job.
If you have suffered from work-related hearing loss, you may be entitled to Pennsylvania workers' compensation. If you live in the Harrisburg, Chambersburg area, contact 1-877-COMPHELP for a FREE consultation. Don't miss out on the benefits you are entitled to.