When working on a construction site, you are constantly exposed to crashing, banging, and loud machinery. You may not think anything of it but, as your life progresses, you may notice that you can’t hear the TV as well as you used to. Or maybe you think your hearing is perfect, but it seems like your friends and family have started to mumble more than usual. What may seem like the new normal to you could actually be hearing loss caused by noise on construction sites.
Hearing loss on the job
Hearing loss on construction sites is a common problem that can be caused by any number of things, such as:
- loud equipment,
- head injuries,
- lengthy exposure to noise, and
- excessive noise levels.
Most of these examples result in what is known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), a serious problem in the construction industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set the limit for exposure to construction noise at 90 A-weighted decibels (dBA) over an 8 hour period. However, most NIHL results from exposure to sound levels at or above 85 dBA. Additionally, construction employers are not required to test their workers’ hearing, even if site noise levels are at or above the OSHA limit. Learn more about NIHL and what you can do if you or a loved one has been affected.
Construction workers are at higher risk
In 2010, at least 1 in 5 construction workers self-reported some hearing loss. This is nearly 1/3 higher than the proportion of workers with hearing loss in all other industries combined. Among workers aged 50 or older, 30% of workers whose longest job was in construction reported fair or poor hearing. Only 21% of workers the same age in white-collar occupations reported the same problem. Another study showed that, among construction workers examined between 1996 and 2010, 58% had significant hearing loss due to noise exposure at job sites. This statistic varies by occupation: nearly 80% of welders had significant hearing loss, while 47% of roofers experienced the same issue.
Your hearing may be worse than you think
In a recent study on occupational hearing loss, 42% of those surveyed who said their hearing was good or excellent actually had hearing loss when tested. This means that, even if you think you have excellent hearing, you may have been affected by hearing loss without knowing it. If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, know that you are not alone and that there is help available.
Can I be compensated for my hearing loss?
Hearing loss can have a serious impact on your family and your future. If you have been affected by hearing loss because of your job, contact Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. Our lawyers understand the complexities and laws related to hearing loss cases and our firm has a rich history of serving the organized labor community. We have departments of experienced attorneys in Personal Injury, Worker’s Compensation, Social Security Disability, and Labor Law. Lipsitz Green understands what qualifies as hazardous noise levels and has sophisticated methods of determining the liability of your employer in your hearing loss case.
This article does not purport to give legal advice and is for informational purposes only.