Occupational Hearing Loss

It is difficult to imagine an employee willingly handling toxic materials without gloves, or operating an industrial oven without a fire extinguisher nearby. Yet millions of workers take similar risks with a hazardous form of pollution every day. It is called noise pollution: consistent and dangerously loud sounds that can permanently damage workers’ hearing abilities.

When hearing impairment is associated with workplace noise exposure, it is known as occupational hearing loss. This is a frustrating condition that can negatively impact a person’s career, relationships, and overall quality of life. It can also be grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. To learn more, call Your Iowa Lawyers LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (515) 705-0233.

How Loud is Too Loud?

Noise-induced hearing loss can happen to anyone, but there are some jobs that are more likely to cause this problem than others. Any kind of occupation that involves regular exposure to heavy machinery, running engines and other loud noises like large crowds can be dangerous to hearing health. Some examples of particularly risky occupations are factory work, construction, military service, and a musical career.

A scale of different noise levels (in decibels) with examples of each is listed below:

  • 0 dB: The softest sound audible to a healthy human ear
  • 60 dB: A typical conversation
  • 80 dB: Heavy traffic
  • 90 dB: Lawnmowers, power tools
  • 110 dB: A loud concert
  • 130 dB: Jackhammers
  • 140 dB: Guns being fired

Experts say that any exposure to a sound that is 80 dB or higher can be dangerous to your hearing. If you work in a consistently noisy environment, ask your doctor about earplugs or other ways to protect your ears.

Contact an Iowa Hearing Loss Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Occupational hearing loss is generally considered a cumulative injury, which means you may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits for this condition. For more information, contact Iowa workers’ compensation attorneys LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (515) 705-0233.

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