Many New Jersey workers are employed in the construction industry. Due to constant exposure to noise at construction sites, some of them will suffer permanent and irreversible hearing loss. While this hearing loss may be prevented, it cannot be cured once it occurs.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, exposure to moderate levels of noise on the job can lead to hearing loss that occurs gradually over time. Examples of such noise on construction sites includes repeated use of nail guns, machines and other tools.
Moderate to high levels of noise also can make work sites more dangerous. Workers have a difficult time hearing such things as warnings when there is a lot of noise. When their ongoing exposure leads to permanent hearing loss, they may have difficulty hearing higher frequencies, understanding speech and may become isolated as a result. Chronic noise exposure can also lead to other health problems. It has been shown that workers exposed to ongoing loud noise are 2 to 3 times likelier to develop heart disease than workers who are not.
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to cover not only work-related injuries but occupational diseases as well. A person who has suffered such a loss due to the working environment may want to have the assistance of an attorney in the preparation and filing of a claim. Employers may try to deny that the employee’s hearing loss was caused by their job, and instead argue it occurred due to something else. As such, legal representation can also be important in a subsequent appeals hearing in the event that the claim is disputed or denied.