Is Your Job Putting You at Risk for Hearing Loss? Workers who are exposed to loud noise levels at work have an increased risk of hearing loss, as well as cardiovascular disease. Certain high-risk occupations put workers at a much greater risk of developing hearing problems, complete hearing loss, heart attacks, and strokes.
Dangerous Noise Levels
When workers are exposed to noise levels exceeding 85 decibels for 8 hours or more, permanent hearing loss can occur. When levels reach 85 decibels, each increase of 3 decibels can cause hearing loss in half the amount of time. As an example, a worker exposed to 88 decibels can lose his/her hearing in four hours instead of eight hours. Once noise levels reach or exceed 100 decibels, a worker can suffer hearing loss in just 15 minutes, so federal regulations limit work to 15 minutes per day at 100 decibels. Workers employed in mining, construction, ship building, oil drilling, manufacturing, industrial warehouses, automotive industries, and landscaping are at a high risk for work-related hearing loss from heavy equipment, machinery, and power tools. * Power saws and chain saws register about 110 decibels. When operated within three feet, a worker can suffer permanent hearing loss in just two minutes. * Industrial facilities, factories, and warehouses use a variety of heavy equipment and machinery that can reach 100 decibels or more. Permanent hearing loss can occur within 15 minutes. * High-powered drills register 98 decibels. Hearing loss can occur within 30 minutes when operated within three feet. For oil and gas drilling workers, daily exposure to loud, heavy machinery is a normal part of the job. To prevent hearing damage and hearing loss, protective hearing earmuffs and earplugs are essential. They must be worn at all times on the job to protect a worker’s hearing. Offshore workers on drilling rigs, production platforms, barges, and dredges are at high risk for hearing loss and other hearing problems. Maritime attorneys at Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm, P.C. see many offshore workers who suffer serious injuries.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
Symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss often appears in stages. Immediate symptoms include: * Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) * Feelings of fullness and pressure in the ears * Sounds that are muffled instead of clear At first, symptoms may come and go, because healthy ear cells will compensate for a while. Over time, you may not be able to hear high-pitched sounds or low-pitched sounds. As hearing loss progresses, hearing aids will likely be required to hear normal sounds such as conversations, music, and television. A Jones Act Attorney Houston can provide more information on work injury claims for maritime workers who are suffering from job-related hearing loss and other occupation illnesses and injuries. .