Occupational hearing loss is often something that goes overlooked, as it doesn’t happen all at once. Typically, you don’t have an incident that stands out, where your hearing decreased quickly. After 20 years of working in the same factory, though, very pronounced hearing loss could be noted. It’s important to remember that this could still be classified as an occupational injury, even without that lone event to point to.
As you may suspect, some occupations in New Jersey put you at a much higher risk than others. Industries that have been pegged as significant hazards include:
— Working on the ground crew for an airline– The construction industry– The farming and agriculture industry– Any jobs that exposes you to loud music, such as being a stadium sound tech or playing in a band– Any job in which loud, heavy machinery is used, such as in a production factor
If you’re unsure whether the noise is too loud or not, just keep in mind that anything that forces workers to shout while they work is probably over the 80 dB that are the threshold for danger. That’s not an exact science, but it helps workers who have no way to measure dB outputs on the job.
It’s worth noting that nearby large truck engines are typically at 90 dB, jet engines hit 130 dB even when they’re 30 yards away, and jackhammers hit 120 dB at just one yard.
If your occupation has contributed to the reduction in your hearing ability or the development of tinnitus, make sure you know what compensation you may be able to seek.
Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Occupational hearing loss,” accessed Sep. 18, 2015