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Work injury: The long-term effects of occupational noise

According to the Department of Labor, hearing loss in workers accounts for $242 million in worker's compensation benefits paid out per year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the fact that about 22 million workers are exposed to dangerous occupational noise levels annually makes hearing loss the most common work injury. Although a wide range of occupations poses these hazards, workers in the mining, manufacturing and construction industries are the most likely victims of hearing disabilities.

A 55-year-old Pennsylvania man says he is living in a sound proof basement to avoid the debilitating pain that noise causes. He reportedly worked in the construction industry for over 30 years and only learned to use ear protection when it was already too late. Employers are responsible for instilling awareness among employees because workers who are unaware of the dangers sometimes choose to remove hearing protection. Some believe they do not need protection if they are not personally operating noisy equipment, not realizing the risks posed by surrounding noise.

Even the hum of a lawnmower and normal conversation tones can cause piercing pain. Along with continuous ringing in his ears, the auditory damage also causes dizziness in the man. It was noted that workers must receive proper training to create awareness of the potential damage that can be caused by occupational noise.

Victims of this type of work injury may only experience the debilitating effects many years after exposure to occupational noise hazards. Proving that the condition is work related and obtaining compensation may prove to be difficult. However, with the help of an experienced Pennsylvania workers' compensation attorney, benefits claims to ease the financial consequences of such an injury may be successful.

Source: bonnercountydailybee.com, "Shhh! America's Most Common Workplace Injury Is Hearing Loss", Zhai Yun Tan, Sept. 9, 2016

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