Loud noises on New York City construction job sites are potentially hazardous to the long-term health of workers there. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers who are exposed to high noise levels on the job can sustain permanent hearing loss. A recent study also showed that workers who are regularly exposed to loud noises have an increased risk of being diagnosed with serious heart disease.
Gradual and irreversible hearing loss can occur when workers are exposed to persistent noise at the same level as a lawn mower or brief but repeated exposures to very high levels of noise. Hearing can also be damaged instantly if a worker is exposed to an extremely loud noise such as an explosion.
Because work-related hearing loss is gradual and painless, the condition often goes unnoticed for a long time. A worker may be losing their hearing if they are unable to hear cell phones ringing, they hear ringing in their ears or they think people are mumbling when they speak. Hearing loss that is caused by excessive exposure to high noise levels cannot be treated or cured. This type of hearing loss is caused by damage to inner ear hair cells called cilia.
When a worker sustains permanent hearing loss, they may not be able to return to their former occupation because they can’t hear alarms and other important sounds. Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to cover not only workplace injuries but occupational diseases as well. An attorney who has experience with these matters can often be of assistance to an eligible worker with the preparation and filing of the required claim.