Did You Lose Your Hearing on the Job?

Workplace injuries sometimes come from consistent exposure to harm rather than from one event. People often think about things like ladder falls or electrocutions, and those things do happen, but that does not mean that sickness, illness, and disease -- among other things -- are no less important.

For instance, did you know that many American workers suffer from hearing loss? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are the most common "chronic physical conditions" that adults face:

  1. Hypertension
  2. Arthritis
  3. Hearing loss

It's a serious issue. If you look at the working population, reports say that more than one out of every 10 workers (12% total) struggle with difficulty hearing. Roughly a quarter of these cases (24%) stem from occupational exposure.

Exposure could be to things like jet engines for airport workers, heavy machinery for factory workers, or power tools for construction workers. Each day seems fine but spending a career around these noise sources can take a toll.

On top of that, around 8% of American workers suffer from a chronic ringing sound in their ears, which is known as tinnitus. There is also an overlap for about 4% of workers, as they have consistent tinnitus, and they have trouble hearing. It's a double-edged sword that can really impact their lives.

Hearing loss is so detrimental to workers, both on the job and at home, because there may be very little that they can do to alleviate the problem. Their ability to hear may not return. When this happens, it's important that workers understand all of their legal rights.

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