Loss of hearing can be extremely devastating as it is one of the five senses we use most often. Hearing clearly is an important aspect of our everyday life and losing it can make daily chores much more difficult and challenging. When hearing loss is the result of your job, it is possible you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Hearing loss often occurs gradually, so gradually it may not be easily noticeable. At first, you may think that people are just talking in lower voices, your spouse may need to speak up for you to hear or it may become difficult to hear phone conversations. At the first stage of hearing loss, high-pitched sounds like the female voice or children’s voices as well as the sounds “s” and “f” are more difficult to understand.
You may begin to notice that you have trouble hearing over background noise or that you have trouble following a conversation when there is more than one person talking. You may have to ask people to repeat themselves often or respond inappropriately because you misunderstood what they said. Others may constantly complain that the television is too loud as well. Some people report a ringing, roaring or hissing sound in the ears.
As hearing loss progresses, you may be unable to hear or decipher what anyone says.
When it comes to workplace hearing loss, the progression can be gradual or sudden. If there is a sudden, loud noise, such as a gunshot or explosion, you may suffer inner ear damage that could lead to sudden hearing loss. More often, workplace hearing loss occurs over time when you are subjected to loud noises regularly that can lead to nerve damage.
It can occur so gradually that you may be unaware that your difficulty hearing is due to your exposure to loud noises at work. The thing is, the noises don’t have to be excessively loud to cause hearing loss. It could be the pitch of the noise, how long you are exposed to noises on a daily basis and the level of ear protection you wear on the job.
According to hearing loss attorneys, exposure to 85 decibels of sound or more can significantly damage hearing and the average power tool operates at around 100 decibels. A common nail gun can produce sounds up to 170 decibels and, since 120 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss, it is easy to see how some workplaces can lead to significant ear damage.
If you work in an environment where you are constantly having to shout to be heard above the noise or you have difficulty understanding normal conversation at your job, it is possible you are working in an environment that could lead to hearing loss and may be eligible for workers’ compensation claims should you lose hearing.
If you work in an environment where there are constant loud noises and are finding it difficult to hear others outside of work, it is possible you are suffering from work related hearing loss. Our Hearing loss attorneys can advise you whether your difficulty hearing qualifies you for a workers’ compensation claim.
Speaking to an attorney does not mean you intend to sue your employer, but that you simply want to protect your rights under the law. In fact, in Pennsylvania, the law does not allow you to sue your employer for a workplace injury in most cases.
If you or a loved one are exhibiting signs of hearing loss after working in a noisy career, contact us today to learn what rights you may have. You can arrange for your initial consultation by completing the easy form on our website or call us, toll free.