The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), says that nearly 30 million people are exposed to hazardous noise levels in their work environment each year. Exposure to high levels of noise for extended periods of time can cause permanent tinnitus or hearing loss. According to OSHA, employee noise exposure limits should be set at 90dBA for 8 hours a day, and only 2 hours of exposure to 100 dBA sound levels. If you have lost some or all of your hearing due to a noisy work environment, you might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
If you have lost some of your hearing before you started your job, then the new work related hearing loss needs to equal at least an extra 10% loss. This means if you had a 20% hearing loss before you started your job, your work must have caused you 10% more of hearing loss, for a total of 30%, before you qualify for worker’s comp.
Like other types of workers’ comp claims, you have to prove that your hearing loss was related to your work environment. Some employers might attempt to claim that your hearing loss is due to aging or because you listen to loud music. Proving your hearing loss is generally easier if you work in a noisy setting where protective gear is used to cover your ears.
Industries that are noisy often require employees to have hearing tests before they can begin working. These tests help employers document the level of hearing loss before and after a worker’s employment period. Even with hearing tests, you can still file for workers’ compensation if your workplace aggravated your hearing loss.
If you have suffered hearing loss due to your work conditions, you should immediately speak with an experienced lawyer about how to get started on your workers’ compensation claim. Our friendly legal team can assess your case and determine a legal strategy that is right for you.Contact our San Antonio workers' comp attorney to schedule a free consultation today. We are ready to put our skills and experience to work for you.