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Understanding occupational hearing loss

Are you finding that lately, you are constantly having to ask people to repeat themselves? Many think that hearing loss is something that just happens over time. However, many of those in New Haven that we here at The Law Office of George H. Romania have worked with have been shocked to discover that their jobs may be why they have become hard of hearing. Much like with a harmful chemical or substance, over-exposure to noise in the workplace can eventually take a toll on you and your ears. Occupational hearing loss may entitle you to workers' compensation to help pay for its affects. 

Just how big of a problem is occupational hearing loss? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that it is to blame for nearly a quarter of all documented cases of hearing loss in the U.S. Units of noise are measured in decibels, with 0 dB being the threshold at which you can hear something and 140 dB the threshold that you can hear something without experiencing ear pain. For a sense of context, consider the following decibel levels and their equivalent real-world manifestations: 

  • 20 dB - A silent study room
  • 40 dB - A soft whisper from 5 ft away
  • 60 dB - Regular conversation from 3 ft away
  • 80 dB - A freight train from 100 ft away
  • 100 dB - A construction site
  • 130 dB - A jet taking off from 200 ft away

A noise dosimeter can measure the amount of decibels in your work environment. Federal regulations have been established limiting the amount of noise you can be exposed to over time. For a standard 8-hour shift, the average decibel level cannot exceed 90 dB. Noise exposure to decibel levels greater than 115 (without protection) must be limited to 15 minutes or less. 

More about occupational injuries can be learned by continuing to explore our site. 

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