Have you been in the workforce for decades and noticed that your hearing just isn’t what it used to be? Or are you retired and struggling to hear what your grand kids are saying when they come over for a visit? If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, work-related hearing loss is the most common U.S. workplace injury, with roughly 22 million workers exposed to hazardous levels of occupational noise each year.
Our senses tend to degenerate slowly as we age, but oftentimes lifestyle factors can contribute to the onset or speed at which this progression occurs. Of our five senses, oftentimes it’s our ears and eyes that take the brunt of this damage. However, when this damage occurs as a direct result of your employment, it’s important to understand that you may be eligible for compensation.
Compensation For Hearing Loss
To get a better understanding of the prevalence and the extent of auditory damage in the workplace, the CDC compared hearing impairment of employees in nine different industrial sectors. The study was large in scale and involved more than 1.4 million audiograms from individuals across these nine sectors between 2003-2012. Here’s what they found:
- The mining industry was the most dangerous industry for hearing impairment, with 17 percent reporting some impairment and three percent reporting moderate or worse impairment.
- The construction sector came in second, with 16 percent and three percent experiencing the same impairment listed above followed by the manufacturing industry (14 percent and two percent) and the healthcare and social assistance sector (11 percent with some impairment).
- 76 percent of miners were exposed to hazardous noise levels, the highest rate of any sector.
So if you work in any of these sectors and you are experiencing hearing loss, a ringing sensation in your ears or any other symptoms that suggest you are dealing with hearing loss, talk to a workers’ compensation attorney. Regulations weren’t as strict back in the day and employers didn’t receive the penalties they do today for failing to comply with safety guidelines for their workers. Even if you no longer work in the industry, a workers’ compensation attorney can work with you to establish a case that proves that your hearing loss is at least partly caused by your former employment.
Outward physical injuries are not the only injuries covered by workers’ compensation injuries. Progressive injuries that affect your senses are also covered by workers’ compensation, so don’t just deal with hearing loss. Seek out the benefits you are entitled to by working with a skilled Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney. Call today for a free initial consultation.