Hearing Loss and Construction Sites
Construction accidents can be serious, placing construction workers at increased risk of permanent disability, including hearing loss. Loud noises, whether a regular occurrence or a sudden, one-time event, are common to construction sites. Without proper precautions, these loud noises can lead to permanent hearing loss.
At Zucker & Regev, P.C., our attorneys help clients who have suffered from hearing loss from construction sites in and around Brooklyn, NY recover financial compensation for their injuries. If you have suffered hearing loss while working in construction, please contact our attorneys to learn more about your available options.
Loud Noises at Construction Sites Can Be Hazardous
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of noise causing hearing damage increases when noise reaches hazardous levels of 85 decibels or higher, or if two people who are only three feet from each other must raise their voices to talk.
When it comes to construction sites, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), as many as 51 percent of construction workers have been exposed to hazardous levels of noise, with 31 percent of those exposed to hazardous noise not wearing ear protection. This has left as much as 25 percent of those who have been exposed to loud noises with hearing impairment significant enough to impact daily activities.
Signs of Hearing Loss
The signs of hearing loss may be gradual or may come on suddenly depending on the level of exposure to hazardous noise.
It's important that construction workers recognize the signs of hearing loss to protect their remaining hearing and prevent further, permanent damage. Some signs of hearing loss to be aware of include:
- Difficulty understanding words, particularly in the presence of background noise
- Speech and other sounds sound muffled
- Difficulty hearing consonants
- Needing to raise the volume on the radio or television
- Needing others to speak more loudly or slowly to hear them
Causes of Hearing Loss at Construction Sites
Brooklyn construction sites are full of loud equipment, vehicles, and other noises inherent with building. There are many factors that can contribute to hearing loss in construction workers. The following are some possible causes of hearing loss at construction sites:
- Workers not provided hearing protection or failure to wear hearing protection if provided
- Regular exposure to loud equipment, such as drills or jackhammers
- Sudden and powerful noises, such as an explosion, falling objects, or a building being demolished
- Lack of sound barriers, which may be placed around some noisy areas
- Lack of signs to indicate high noise areas
- Insufficient training about noise safety and exposure
Employer's Should Provide Hearing Protection
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), it is the employer's responsibility to provide construction employees with hearing protective devices at no cost to the employee.
Hearing protective devices must also be regularly maintained and employees must be trained on how to properly use the chosen device. OSHA recommends that employees who do not receive hearing protection when working in areas of high noise ask their employer for it. If an employer refuses the request, employees may request an OSHA inspection.
Employer Negligence and Hearing Loss at Construction Sites
Negligent employers who fail to provide hearing protection may be held liable for an employee's hearing loss caused by exposure to construction site noises.
Brooklyn construction workers have options when faced with work-related hearing loss. A personal injury attorney can determine the best course of action to help injured construction workers recover compensation for medical costs, loss of future wages if unable to return to work, and other damages.
Contact the Attorneys of Zucker & Regev, P.C.
If you have suffered from hearing loss from exposure to noise while on the job, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To learn more about what options are available to you, please call Zucker & Regev, P.C. at (718) 624-1211 to schedule a consultation.