What is occupational hearing loss?

Some workplaces are naturally louder than others; a factory, for example, features a non-stop deafening whirl of machines. If you work in a noisy environment, you should be wearing protective devices that prevent hearing loss. This safety equipment should be provided by your employer. However, sometimes take precautions isn’t enough and your hearing gets damaged anyway.

If your workplace forces you to have prolonged exposure to a level of sound that the New Jersey Department of Labor has labeled “hazardous noise,” you are at risk of suffering from occupational hearing loss. According to the NJ DoL, employees are eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits if they have “noise induced occupational hearing loss,” defined as a “permanent bilateral loss of hearing acuity of the sensorineural type due to prolonged, habitual exposure to hazardous noise in employment.”

The law defines “prolonged exposure” as “exposure to hazardous noise in employment for a period of at least one year” and “habitual exposure” as “exposure to noise exceeding the allowable daily dose, at least three days each week, for at least 40 weeks each year.”

Under the Occupational Noise Exposure, Hearing Conservation Program, many employers are required to monitor noise levels in the workplace as part of a continuing, effective hearing conservation program for employees.

In the state of New Jersey, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance that covers all employees. The laws are complex, however, and, because they employer is permitted to choose the doctor and medical facility that provides care, employees often find themselves fighting for the healthcare they need to get well.

Your attorney will have to investigate your injury, gather medical records, collect information about the company’s noise levels and help you through every step of your case.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey and Delaware. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.