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Hearing loss in the workplace

In many cases, an injury at work is something that takes place all at once. A worker is completely healthy, for instance, and then they suffer a head injury in a fall. They get rushed to the hospital and it’s clear that they’ve been injured that very day.

However, there are a lot of workplace injuries that are a bit more cumulative in nature. The effects build up over time. This doesn’t make them less serious, but it does sometimes cause workers to overlook the issues. They simply don’t realize that they’re being harmed in the same way. One example of this is hearing loss. 

A permanent issue

One potential problem with work-related hearing loss is that there’s often nothing that can be done to actually fix the issue. This is a permanent condition. Someone’s quality of life is going to decline because of it, and they’re going to have to deal with that for the rest of their life.

As such, you could argue that something like hearing loss is much more serious than other workplace injuries. Workers may feel like they shouldn’t “complain” about such a minor problem as feeling like the workplace is too loud to be safe. But this is not minor at all. A broken arm is going to heal and the worker will likely be back on the job in a few months. Hearing loss is typically never going to heal, and the person may need hearing aids and other medical equipment to make up for it.

What can you do?

Of course, the best thing to do is for your employer to give you the proper personal protection equipment so that you can stay safe on the job. But if this doesn’t happen, or if you’ve suffered hearing loss anyway, then you need to know about all of your potential rights to workers’ comp.