Millions exposed to high noise levels
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says that, for approximately 9 million Americans, 90% of their workweeks involve exposure to noise levels above 85 decibels. There are 20 jobs where noise exposure is especially a concern. The most obvious are:
• Airline baggage handlers and ground control
• Construction workers
• Race car drivers
Though airline ground staff are regularly exposed to noises above 140 decibels, pilots and cabin crew do not have this problem. As for race car drivers, they can experience sounds of up to 135 decibels in NASCAR and other racing events. Even the audience members, if they stand too close, will be adversely affected.
From miners to nightclub workers
Miners, carpenters and lumberjacks run a high risk for hearing loss, too, largely because of the tools associated with their trade: namely, jackhammers, nail guns and chainsaws. Then, there are DJs and nightclub workers since they are naturally surrounded by loud music. Farmers, truck drivers and garbage men lose their hearing because of their vehicles. Even gardeners are not immune due to lawnmowers and other equipment.
Hearing loss and workers’ compensation
The workers’ comp program does not simply cover losses related to workplace injuries; those who suffer from a work-related illness or other condition unrelated to a one-time incident can seek to be reimbursed, too. For your part, you may want an attorney to help you file your claim. If the employer denies payment, then, with your attorney, you may mount an appeal. Workers’ comp benefits provide wage replacement and cover all medical expenses.