It may be hard to imagine you could ever lose your hearing, let alone go deaf as a direct result from your job. Remarkably, millions of Americans are exposed to dangerous sound levels at work each year, resulting in hearing-related work illnesses.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 22 million workers in the United States are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work each year. An additional nine million people are exposed to ototoxic chemicals that can aversely affect hearing. Thankfully, for those who have lost their hearing as a result of their work environment, workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help with lost wages and ongoing medical treatment. Each year $242 million in workers’ compensation benefits are paid out to individuals as a result of work-related hearing illnesses.
While hearing loss is 100% preventable, when symptoms of deafness and hearing loss have begun, it may not be reversible. The costs to treat hearing loss and deafness never go away, but compound over time. In most cases, hearing loss prevents an individual from returning to his original line of work, if returning to work at all.
Steps can be taken to reduce the exposure to loud and prolonged noises, as well as toxic chemicals that may affect the hearing, yet the exposure may never be eliminated entirely. Preventative measures—such as installing sound-muffling devices and limiting the time that employees are exposed to loud noises—can go a long way to reducing work-related hearing illnesses.
Sadly, work-related hearing illness cannot always be prevented. If you or someone you love has lost hearing due to exposure to loud, prolonged noise on the job, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help you. Call us today at 888-807-WORK (9675) for a free consultation. We’ll help you understand your rights and help you plan your next steps.