As those who work in the industrial job sector know, heavy work is often noisy work. Loud machinery is frequently used to perform certain tasks. On construction sites, workers may have to use any number of hand tools, such as electric drills and saws that emit pitched sounds. Of course, those who do roadwork are familiar with the tooth-rattling noise of a jackhammer. And factories can have all manner of machines and conveyors that operate nonstop and are typically very loud.
Exposure, especially prolonged exposure, to loud noise could profoundly affect a worker’s hearing. Employees have a right to working conditions that are safe, and there are a number of steps employers can take to help protect their workers’ hearing. The following are some of these steps as recommended by OSHA:
- Placing limits on how much time a worker can be exposed to sources of loud noise.
- Confining the running of loud machinery to times when fewer people will be exposed to the noise.
- Forbidding employees from working too closely to noisy machines.
- Providing workers with soundproof or quiet areas where they can recover after being exposed to hazardous noise.
Exposure to high degrees of noise is a serious issue. It could cause permanent hearing loss that cannot be corrected by surgery or even offset by the use of a hearing aid. Moreover, long-term exposure to hazardous levels of noise can cause a worker to suffer psychological and physical stress. Loud noise could also lead a worker to experience problems with concentration and communication.
If you suspect your hearing has been affected by the noise level at your place of employment, it would be a good idea to see a doctor for testing. If the test reveals that you have suffered a hearing loss, you may want to contact an Illinois workers’ compensation attorney. The attorney could investigate the situation to determine if the condition is job related. The attorney may also be able to get you appropriate compensation for your injuries.