Suffer Deafness or Noise Related Injury at the Workplace?
New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Lawyer Discusses Noise as a Workplace Hazard
Hearing Loss Injury Attorney When people think about workplace hazards, they rarely consider the noise. Noise-induced hearing loss is among the most common occupational disabilities; yet, since its effects are invisible and slow to develop, this injury and its far reaching effects on the sufferer’s quality of life are often overlooked by employees, employers, and workers’ compensation insurance companies.
In order to understand the hazards posed by excessive noise levels, it is important to examine how the human ear actually works. Sound waves (vibrations in the air) travel into the ear canal and hit the ear drum (a thin piece of membrane that separates the outer ear from the middle ear). The sound waves vibrate the eardrum, which is connected by a few small bones to cochlea, which converts the vibrations to nerve signals.
Immediately after being too close to an extremely loud noise, the victim suffers from acoustic trauma (injury to the cochlea). Acoustic trauma can temporarily result in partial or complete deafness. While the most of the victim’s hearing will return, acoustic trauma inevitably results in some permanent cochlear damage.
However, a lot of hearing damage doesn’t occur due to a single instance of acoustic trauma; rather, it is due to long term exposure to unsafe acoustic levels without adequate protection. Cochlear damage from repeated exposure to excessive noise levels can be harder to detect as hearing is lost very slowly over a long period of time.
There is also the danger of ultrasonics (high-frequency sound that cannot be heard by the human ear). This type of sound can damage a worker’s hearing without them even knowing. Common sources of ultrasonic sound include certain types of wielding equipment, as well as certain types of cleaning equipment used by jewelers and dentists.
Hearing loss can affect the sufferer’s life in many ways. However, permanent hearing loss can severely impair communication. Even relatively mild hearing loss (inability to hear above 2,000 Hertz) can impair a person’s ability to understand speech, which can affect the victim’s ability to work and socialize.
An experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer can make sure that your workplace injuries are not overlooked, regardless of how they are perceived by your employer or your workers’ compensation insurance. Get the settlement you deserve. Call dedicated New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer Dan Matrafajlo today to schedule a free initial consultation.