Nevadans who work in noisy facilities may suffer from work-related hearing loss, and they may be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits for their conditions. Workplaces have to follow rules that have been promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) about workplace noise exposure. A workers’ compensation attorney may help people who have suffered occupational hearing losses to recover benefits to pay for their medical expenses. If workers are left either partially or totally disabled, the lawyer can help them try to receive monthly disability benefits so that they can have ongoing financial support.
Occupations With Greater Risks
While workers in any industry may suffer from hearing injuries from noise exposure at work over time, there are a few industries that have much higher risks because of the noise that occurs. The CDC reports that these industries include:
- the agricultural industry because of the noise of farm equipment
- the construction industry because of the noise from using power tools and machinery
- manufacturing because of the noise from machinery
- the mining industry because of the noise from mining equipment
Employers are supposed to have hearing loss prevention programs in place and to supply protective equipment to their employees.
Hearing Loss Prevention
Workplaces are supposed to monitor the noise level in their facilities on a regular basis. They should try to establish safe areas from which workers can monitor the noisier environments. If this is not possible, employers should supply their workers with hearing protection devices and make certain that their employees comply with wearing them. Employers should have training programs in place to educate their workers about the risks of long-term noise exposure and what employees can do to help to prevent hearing loss. Annual audiometric testing should also be performed on employees whose work requires them to be regularly exposed to noise.
Proving that Hearing Loss Is Work-Related
Proving that hearing loss was caused by the workplace may be complicated. Workers may need to obtain records showing a shift in their hearing on their annual audiometric tests. They may also need to obtain records from their doctors that document the relationship of their loss of hearing to their jobs over time. Employers and their insurance companies may try to dispute that the hearing loss was work-related. A workers’ compensation attorney may help clients to gather the evidence proving the basis for their claims.