Today, hearing loss is the United States' leading occupational injury in both occurrence and potential cost. This is especially unfortunate since noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is almost always preventable at little cost.
Medically, there are two major types of hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss involves the outer and middle ear. It usually results from a wax blockage, a punctured eardrum, birth defects, ear infections, or it may be genetic. Conductive hearing loss can generally be corrected surgically.
Sensorineural or nerve hearing loss involves damage to the inner ear. It can be caused by factors including aging, infections, genetics, trauma, and exposure to loud noises. Sensorineural hearing loss usually can't be repaired surgically; it is usually corrected with a hearing aid.
There are laws that require employers to take action to minimize exposure to loud noise. Employers must inform workers about noise hazards and implement all reasonably practicable measures to reduce noise or isolate workers from it. If engineering cannot reduce noise, employers and contractors must protect workers by other means. This includes the provision of hearing protection and arranging for workers to have an hearing test at least once every two years.
Brent Coon & Associates provides legal assistance and guidance for people who've suffered from occupational hearing loss. If you have been diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss from your work environment, there may be time limitation to file suit. Contact one of our attorneys at Brent Coon & Associates for assistance. Protecting your legal rights and holding negligent parties responsible is our #1 goal.