According to Centers for Disease Control statistics, 22 million Americans are subjected to excessive workplace noise every year. These workers are at risk for permanent hearing loss. Workers in the mining, construction and manufacturing industries are the most likely to be affected. Hearing Loss the Most Common Workplace Injury in America.
What is surprising is that workers who experience moderate noise levels were most likely to be at risk for hearing loss. This is because workers are more likely to wear hearing protection when exposed to very high levels of noise. Workplaces with moderate noise levels may not utilize hearing protection.
Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide notification of risks and hearing tests to workers exposed to 85 decibels for eight hours per day. In addition, OSHA requires employers to provide training programs that can help reduce the risk of hearing loss. OSHA regulations stipulate that workers in the construction industry receive the same benefits if they are exposed to 90 decibels for eight hours per day.
Can the Department of Labor Help Prevent Workplace Hearing Loss?
The Department of Labor has launched its ‘Hear and Now’ campaign to prevent hearing loss among workers by utilizing training and new technologies. Hear and Now will help utilize real-time detection systems that can alert workers when hearing protection cannot block noise effectively enough to prevent hearing loss. The program will work to design hearing devices that allow workers to hear important messages while drowning out harmful noise. It will also improve training programs for employers and workers.
The Ohio workers’ comp attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC will work to help you secure benefits for workplace injuries or disabilities.