Can I Make a Workers’ Compensation Claim For My Hearing Loss?
Unfortunately, noise pollution is an ever increasing problem in today’s workplaces. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly a quarter of all U.S. hearing loss can be traced to a noisy workplace. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 20,000 workplace hearing loss cases are handled each year.
Workers’ compensation does cover job-related hearing loss, but the problem is that hearing losses usually occur gradually over time. It may well be difficult to pinpoint when yours began and what company you worked for at the time. Your wisest strategy, therefore, is to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced Frederick MD workers compensation lawyer if you suspect that your hearing has been or is being negatively affected by your work environment.
Workers Most at Risk
While any workplace can be noisy at times, you face the greatest risk of suffering a hearing loss if your job consists of one of the following:
- Airline crew member or airfield worker
- Ambulance driver or EMT
- Construction worker, particularly carpentry
- Lawn maintenance worker
- Manufacturing or factory worker
- Agriculture worker
- Music industry worker
- Oil and gas extraction worker
Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). The higher the decibel level, the greater the chance of it producing hearing loss, especially if your job requires you to constantly work in a high-noise environment. Per recommendations issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a worker should not be exposed to a noise level higher than 85 decibels in any eight-hour workday. However, NIOSH also estimates that at least 30 million U.S. workers are, in fact, exposed to noise levels sufficient to cause irreversible hearing loss. If you suffer hearing loss at work, you may wish to contact a Frederick MD workers compensation lawyer.
Common workplace sounds that vastly exceed NIOSH recommendations include the following:
- Hammer hammering nails: 115-120 dB
- Jet plane motor: 120 dB
- Fire engine or police car siren: 120-140 dB
- Electric drill: 125-130 dB
- Jackhammer: 130 dB
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Suffering an occupational hearing loss can not only be expensive, but also will likely negatively impact both your work life and your personal life. Workers’ Compensation covers your medical costs, including such things as diagnostic testing, hearing aids, batteries and servicing. Specific benefits vary by state, however, as do the time periods within which you must file a claim. Again, your local Frederick MD workers compensation lawyer can advise you in these regards and ensure that you file your claim within the prescribed time frame.
If you’ve been injured, contact a Frederick MD workers compensation lawyer today for a free case evaluation. The attorneys at Cohen & Cohen have settled more than 10,000 cases in the last 30 years, and can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (202) 955-4529 today for a free case evaluation.