When people are exposed to loud noises for a long period of time, it may have a negative effect on their hearing. They are likely to develop problems like hearing difficulty and tinnitus. A study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health that was published in January 2016 found that hearing difficulties are much more likely if workers are exposed to occupational noise.

The data shows that just 7 percent of those in the workforce who had never been exposed to occupational noise experienced hearing difficulties. For those who had been exposed to occupational noise, 23 percent had hearing difficulties and 15 percent had developed tinnitus. The study also found that individuals who worked in the forest, fishing, hunting and agriculture industries as well as the manufacturing industry were at greater risk of developing hearing problems, tinnitus or both. On the other hand, those in the sales industries were at a far lower risk for these issues.

This is the first study to look at the prevalence of hearing difficulties and which industries they are most common in. Researchers discovered that approximately 22 million workers in America are affected by exposure to hazardous levels of noise.

Workers’ compensation is normally associated with being injured in a workplace accident, but it covers occupational diseases as well. In some cases, however, proving that a disease was the result of a workplace environment can be more difficult that showing that an injury occurred on the job. An attorney who has experience with these matters can often be of assist in gathering supporting medical documentation and other evidence to support the claim for benefits.