Louisiana employees who work in noisy conditions may be interested to learn that workplace hearing loss is one of the most common work-related injuries. Approximately 22 million U.S. workers every year are exposed to levels of occupational noise that could be considered hazardous.
One man, who had been employed as a construction worker for more than 30 years, says he began to feel pressure in his ears after work. He attempted to wear ear protection after his symptoms began to progress, but eventually he had to stop working due to a piercing pain in his inner ear. He said that the pain was unbearable and had caused him to retract himself from society. Although he was put on medication for anxiety and depression, no medication help with the pain in his ear.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration already has recommendations in place to prevent or reduce the risks of hearing loss in the workplace. However, critics have argued that the regulations are outdated and that they only cover the workplace noises and not the cumulative effects. Further, some workers choose not to wear ear protection because they may not be aware of the risks or may not be operating heavy machinery at the time.
People who have incurred a hearing loss as a result of their workplace environment may be entitled to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits under their employer's insurance coverage. As it would not be unusual for the employer or its insurer to deny or dispute the claim on the grounds that the hearing loss was due to the employee's lifestyle, having the assistance of counsel could be advisable throughout the process.