When you work in an environment that exposes you to moderate or loud noise on a regular basis, your risk of suffering work-related hearing loss rises as a result. Your chances of experiencing work-related hearing loss increase when you work in certain industries, such as construction, mining or entertainment, and the effects of it may prove lifelong.
According to USA Today, hearing loss related to work environment has become the most common workplace injury in the United States. Each year, more than 22 million American workers undergo exposure to dangerous levels of noise, costing employers more than $242 million a year in workers’ compensation costs.
Why moderately loud environments are most dangerous
Common sense may tell you that the louder your work environment is, the higher your risk of hearing loss. However, statistics show otherwise. Your risk of suffering work-related hearing loss is higher when you work in a setting where noise levels are moderate, rather than very loud. Why?
In unquestionably loud work environments, you and others are more likely to recognize the risks and wear ear protection to help negate them. In environments with moderate noise, you may feel as if the risks are negligible and forgo wearing proper ear protection as a result.
Why victims of hearing loss struggle to get disability benefits
Many people who face work-related hearing loss go on to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance from the U.S. Social Security Administration. If you do so, you may find the approval process long and difficult. Hearing loss does not appear on the administration’s list of disabling conditions. Therefore, most individuals who apply for benefits on the basis of hearing loss receive denials in response.