Workers in the state of Pennsylvania can suffer workplace injuries in a couple of ways. While a specific incident is often to blame, in other situations the injury is the result of exposure to certain things over a period of time. An example of this is the loss of hearing. Those who lose their hearing because of the work they do may have a workers' compensation claim against their employer.
Exposure to noise at a high level can lead to hearing loss that eventually returns. Over a period of time however, exposure to noise at a high level can lead to hearing loss that is permanent. In these situations, neither a hearing aid nor surgery can be used to fix the problem.
According to the Occupational Safety Health Administration, throughout the nation each year 30 million people are exposed to noise levels considered to be hazardous. Individuals who work in the construction field or in industrial settings are particularly at risk for these injuries.
There are multiple things employers can do to reduce exposure to hazardous noise. The first is to implement an effective hearing conservation program. Next is to provide hearing protection devices such as earplugs and earmuffs. Administrative controls which limit the time that workers can be around workplace noise or changing the time of day when noisy machines are used to periods when fewer people are around can be helpful as well. Engineering controls that modify the equipment to make it quieter are another tactic that can be employed.
In some situations, it's possible for workers dealing with permanent hearing loss to seek workers' compensation benefits. Because these benefits can be difficult to secure it may be beneficial to work with a workers' compensation lawyer. If you have further questions, call the Pittsburgh workers' compensation attorneys at Dugan & Associates today for a free consultation at 412-922-0800.