If you are a construction worker, chances are that you are constantly working with jackhammers, drills, power saws, and other very loud and dangerous machines. While most people associate these machines with their ability to cut or harm a person by lacerations and blunt force injuries, they can also cause a significant amount of damage because of their loud volume when being operated. After hearing these loud, piercing noises for days on end, some construction workers may develop hearing issues that will eventually result in ringing in the ear, inner-ear damage, or even deafness.
LIMITING NOISE EXPOSURE CAN PREVENT INJURY
According to the OSHA, exposure to high levels of noise has been known to cause permanent hearing loss. Unfortunately there is not a surgery or medication that can correct this type of hearing loss, so it is important that you take this risk very carefully. There are different degrees of hearing loss. Some individuals may not be able to higher pitched frequencies after too much noise exposure, while others may have trouble understanding speech, or may affect a person’s ability to communicate. This can even lead to social isolation. Hearing loss can also affect your qualify of life by interfering with your ability to enjoy socializing or playing with your children because you are no longer able to hear them.
The OSHA says that damage to your hearing can be prevented through protective materials and rational care, but it cannot be cured or reversed. Because it typically occurs gradually, you may not even know that you are losing your hearing until you are already seriously affected. Noise can also affect your body in other ways. In fact, a recent study revealed that workers that are exposed to excessive noise are two to three times more likely to suffer from a serious heart disease.
If you have heard time hearing in large groups, experience ringing in one or both ears, have trouble hearing alarms or the ringing of a cell phone, or have trouble understanding others on the phone, then you may have hearing loss already. Most of the time, one-time exposure to a loud noise can damage your ear instantly. As well, prolonged exposures to loud noise can do the same damage but at a slower, gradual pace. If you believe that you could be losing your hearing, you need to go to a physician and get this condition checked out.
Your employer at the construction site should be looking out for your welfare by limiting the amount of hours you work in noisy areas, providing you with headphones or earplugs when in loud areas, and posting signs near high-noise areas to make sure that those without hearing protection don’t entire the area. Some more advanced and more current construction technologies have been able to minimize the noise from these machines, and employers can also set up barriers by loud machines to reduce the noise level. If you want more information, talk to a New York worker’s compensation attorney at Katz, Leidman, Freund & Herman today!