Hearing Loss and the Field of Construction
The construction field is known as one of the most dangerous lines of work due to the high risk of injury. However, when most people think of construction injuries, construction accidents such as falls, machinery accidents, being pinned between heavy objects, and similar accidents tend to come to mind. Few consider hearing loss as a risk of working in construction.
Hearing loss is actually a big risk for individuals working in the field of construction. Construction sites are noisy environments with tools and equipment that operate at high decibels.
Those who have suffered hearing loss after working on a construction site can work with Houston, TX attorney Michael E. Shelton to seek financial compensation for injury damages.
Noise-induced Hearing Loss
Noise-induced hearing loss, or NIHL, is a risk for anyone who is routinely exposed to eight hours or more of sounds at 85 dBA or above. Because a lot of construction equipment, including jack hammers, chain saws, and drills, operate at 100 dBA or more, NIHL is common among construction workers.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that 22 million workers in the United States are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work. Construction is second only to manufacturing when it comes to the number of workers exposed to noise hazards.
NIHL is a gradual condition that may not always be recognized by those suffering from it. It is important to know the signs of NIHL so that treatment can be sought right away, as hearing loss can be permanent.
Symptoms of NIHL include:
- Ringing in the ears
- Muffled or distorted sounds
- Routinely having to ask people to repeat what they have said
- Difficulty hearing over background noise
Reducing the Risk of NIHL
Construction administrators are responsible for doing their part to reduce the risk of NIHL for their workers. Tips recommended by OSHA to control noise levels at construction sites and minimize noise hazards include:
- Using quieter equipment when possible
- Scheduling loud tasks for when the fewest people are around
- Moving equipment and generators further away from workers
- Building temporary barriers to help block noise
- Providing and requiring hearing protection
- Limiting the number of hours in which a worker is around noise hazards
- Posting warning signs
- Providing safety training
A construction worker who has experienced hearing loss due to exposure to hazardous noises has the same rights as one who has been injured in a workplace accident. These workers have a right to file a workers’ compensation claim and seek compensation for the cost of medical treatment, lost wages for time away from work, and, possibly, disability compensation.
Houston attorney Michael E. Shelton represents victims of workplace accidents. He will listen to the details of each individual case and recommend the best course of action moving forward. His experience can be invaluable in getting NIHL victims the maximum compensation they are due for injury damages.
If you have experienced hearing loss as a result of work within the field of construction, attorney Michael E. Shelton is here to assist you in getting the financial compensation you are due. To discuss the details of your case and learn more about your legal rights, contact us at your earliest convenience, or call us in Houston at (713) 807-0700 to set up a personal consultation.