Do you work in an industrial workplace in Pennsylvania where loud noises are continuously blaring throughout the workday? If so, you aren’t alone. Many industrial jobs can be quite noisy, and sometimes employers provide relief in the form of earplugs. However, earplugs are not a full proof form of protection.
WORKPLACE HEARING LOSS AND FAULTY EARPLUGS
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, hearing loss is the most common workplace injury. Millions of workers are exposed to hazardous levels of noise that could cause catastrophic damage to their hearing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20,000 occupational hearing loss cases occur every year, many resulting in permanent hearing loss.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends that workers should not be exposed to noise that amounts to more than 85 decibels over 8 continuous hours. However, if one has to work in this type of situation, a company is required to provide employees with some type of hearing protector to combat the noise. Earplugs are designed to protect a user’s ears from loud noises, foreign bodies, water, and other substances. One of the main purposes of earplugs is to prevent hearing loss.
But what if the employer fails to provide the necessary safety equipment? Or, what if the employer provided the worker with faulty earplugs and that worker developed hearing loss? What can that employee do?
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AND PRODUCT LIABILITY
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, employees can receive benefits for hearing loss as a result of workplace noise exposure. Workers who have at least ten percent hearing loss in both ears are eligible for compensation. They must also prove that their workplace environment caused the incident.
In normal cases of injuries caused in the workplace, this would squarely be a workers’ compensation issue. However, if the earplug was faulty in its design or failed to do what it was designed to do, it may be an issue of product liability.
The manufacturer of the earplug could be held responsible for your hearing loss if it is proven the earplug was the problem because its design was faulty. On the other hand, if your employer knew that the product was faulty, he, she, or the company would be liable for your hearing loss.
Either way, the law could get tricky with these types of cases. That’s why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side to guide you.
Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli Today
Do you work in an industrial setting and the earplugs provided to you fell short in protecting your hearing? Your life may be turned upside down, but the attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli are here for you. With years of experience on our side, we will get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today.