Many employees in Oklahoma are aware that getting injured on the job entitles them to workers’ compensation. What some workers may not realize, however, is that this protection doesn’t just cover trips and slips. Those who suffer from hearing loss or damage due to a loud work environment may also receive treatment through workers’ compensation.
Workplace hazards can harm the ears
An estimated 13% of those in the United States over the age of 12 suffer from hearing loss. While certain genetic conditions and diseases can put an individual at an increased risk of developing hearing problems, studies have found that hearing loss is more likely to occur to workers in certain industries. Experts say that hearing loss due to work-related incidents is often due to loud noises, chemical exposure, or a mixture of both. Hearing loss-related incidents affect:
• 27% of workers in utilities
• 23% of workers in mining
• 18% of workers in manufacturing
Reducing your risk of hearing loss at work
Taking steps to protect your hearing can keep your ears healthy for a longer period of time. Damage can be done to the ears when noise levels at the workplace exceed 85 decibels. If you can’t hear a person who is speaking 3 feet away from you, there is a good chance that the noise at your workplace is at a hazardous level. Wearing hearing protection, increasing the space between you and noisy equipment or areas, and always wearing proper protective equipment when working with chemicals can help prevent hearing-related workplace injuries.
What to do if you suffer from hearing loss
Hearing loss or tinnitus, a ringing in the ears, isn’t just an annoyance; studies have found that hearing loss may lead to depression, anxiety and isolation. If you suspect that you are suffering from hearing damage due to noise or chemical exposure at work, you might want to file a workers’ compensation claim to cover the expenses of treating the condition.