Pennsylvania Occupational Hearing Loss Lawyers
Helping You Seek Workers’ Compensation Benefits
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hearing loss is the most common work-related injury. There are approximately 30 million workers exposed to hazardous levels of occupational noise, and an additional 9 million who could lose their hearing because of exposure to solvents or metals.
If a worker loses his or her hearing following years of working in an industrial environment or workplace in which they were exposed to excess noise levels, they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The Pennsylvania occupational hearing loss lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC can assist you with your claim.
Who Is at Risk for Occupational Hearing Loss?
Workers in manufacturing, construction, and other industrial jobs are the most likely to suffer injuries due to hearing impairment. According to the Department of Labor, about $242 million is spent each year on hearing loss disability.
Still, employers might have to shoulder more of the responsibility when it comes to instilling more education and awareness among their workers. Sometimes workers simply are not aware of the risks of excessive noise, especially when they aren’t operating loud equipment. As a result, they may choose to not wear hearing protection.
But, for general industry workers who are exposed to noise for at least eight hours a day at or above a time-weighted average of 85 decibels, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide free hearing protectors, audiometric testing, and notification. Employers must also offer training programs for workers who would be affected by noise and potential hearing loss. For the construction industry, the limit is 90 decibels for an eight-hour exposure.
For many workers who are exposed to excessive noise or who do not treat their hearing condition, hearing loss will be permanent. Permanent hearing loss could mean that a worker is no longer able to continue on a career path for which they have trained for their entire life. It could also lead to costly specialized treatment for the rest of their life.
Loss of Hearing Can Be a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act allows employees to receive benefits for hearing loss as a result of workplace noise exposure.
For you to receive work-related hearing loss benefits, you must have at least ten percent hearing loss in both ears. In order to determine what percentage of hearing loss you have sustained, you will need to be evaluated by a hearing specialist physician or qualified medical provider.
You must also be able to show that you were exposed to hazardous noise while at work to qualify for hearing loss benefits. This can be a difficult thing to determine. You must prove that the noise at your job is severe enough to be considered hazardous under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC can help in this matter.
How Can Your Job Impact Your Hearing?
Studies have shown that sounds above 80 decibels could potentially damage the inner ear if the exposure continues for an extended period of time. As experienced workers’ compensation lawyers with decades of experience and a record of success, our team has seen many workers who have slowly lost their hearing over time at their job.
If you work at a noisy workplace, here are some measures you can take to prevent hearing loss:
- When possible, work further away from loud equipment
- Even if you use earplugs, take regular breaks from a noisy environment
- See your audiologist (hearing doctor) often
- Always wear proper hearing protection, like earplugs and other protective devices
Are You Entitled to Compensation for Hearing Damage?
If your audiologist suspects that your hearing loss is the result of prolonged exposure to noise at your workplace, you should be aware that it might be possible to get workers’ compensation to pay your medical costs and lost wages. If your hearing damage is severe enough that it keeps you out of work for good, you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
An experienced lawyer can help you find out which benefits you qualify for and assist you in the application process. Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law PC as soon as possible if you’ve suffered from hearing loss as a result of your job; our Pennsylvania occupational hearing loss attorneys are here to answer your questions and provide the personalized support you need.
We want to assist you in getting compensation for the damage that was done to your hearing and has affected the quality of your life. We have many years of experience in workers’ compensation litigation and Social Security disability claims, and we can be your voice inside and outside the courtroom.