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Suffering hearing loss on the job

Employees in Texas might benefit from understanding more about hearing loss injuries that may be caused by exposure in the workplace, as described by the National Occupational Research Agenda. Hearing loss is most common in occupations associated with the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing accounts for around 13 percent of the American workforce, totaling approximately 16 million employees. About 17,700 cases reported in the manufacturing sector are related to a hearing loss illness.

Some of the occupations typically associated with manufacturing include those involving transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, primary metals, chemicals, wood products, food, tobacco and beverages. Over 70 percent of all hearing loss injuries involve employees who work in the manufacturing sector. In order for these injuries to have been OSHA-reportable, the injured employee must have had their hearing impaired while performing occupational duties.

However, many workers can lose their hearing gradually over time, so any hearing impairment may not be immediately apparent. The risk of developing hearing loss is often highest during the first decade of exposure. The most effective approach may be to focus on preventing these injuries from occurring amongst the newer employees. Prolonged exposure to conditions causing hearing loss may lead to employees losing the ability to hear frequencies used for understanding speech.

Employees who suffer workplace injuries on the job may benefit from consulting legal counsel. A lawyer may be able to investigate the conditions that contributed to the injury and help determine the maximum amount of benefits an employee may be able to receive from a worker's compensation claim. If a third-party, such as a faulty equipment manufacturer, contributed to the injury, a separate civil suit might be filed for additional compensation.

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