Work-Related Hearing Loss
When hearing loss is related to work, decisions need to be made from both sides. From the worker’s standpoint, they need to recognize that there is something wrong with their hearing and take the first step by getting an evaluation. Even mild hearing loss should never be ignored, since it can lead to other problems if left unchecked.
From the employer’s point of view, they have to look at how the company is addressing hearing loss in its employees. If there is no hearing program in place, then it falls on insurance, and sometimes the workers alone. Being prepared on either side is beneficial, and from the employer’s side, it provides useful information to workers that are unfamiliar with hearing health.
Hearing loss and work
Jobs requiring exposure to loud machines are the most prone to affecting workers’ hearing. This applies to construction or industrial jobs, such as working in a warehouse. There are many loud booming sounds mixed with high-pitched mechanical tones. All of these noises together in an eight-hour workday can be overwhelming to the senses.
Working around vehicles or planes can also cause work-related hearing loss. Just like with construction, although workers are prepared for the loud noises, sustained exposure to these sounds can damage hearing. In an occupation dealing with loud sounds daily, a worker can suffer significant hearing loss long before retirement. Musicians are not an exception, and are in fact commonly affected by hearing loss. Any career with loud noises can put workers at risk, even with the proper precautions.
How Micron Audiology can help
Work-related hearing loss should be taken seriously, which is why working closely with employees and employers is so important. Micron Audiology can help with hearing loss claims through Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, or any participating third-party insurer. With the proper coverage, workers will have access to screenings, hearing aids, accessories and hearing training.
Micron Audiology can also provide the necessary tools to help an employer protect their workers from the dangers of work-related hearing loss. We work with several local employers to fit custom hearing protection to reduce the amount of noise their employees are exposed to. We can also offer educational material and support regarding auditory health. Employers will get effective workers while the employees will gain full control of their hearing health.