Many workers' compensation cases deal with an employee who has sustained an acute injury from a one-time event, such as being scalded by hot oil in a fast food setting or crushed under a piece of machinery in a warehouse. Other workers' compensation cases relate to physical ailments that employees incur over a long period of time. A common example of this type of issue is hearing loss, which commonly occurs due to repeated exposure to loud noises.
If you've lost your hearing and believe that your career played a role, you should hire a workers' compensation attorney to discuss your situation. These details will often be relevant.
Lack Of Hearing Protection
While it's true that employees should take ownership over their own health, employers also have a responsibility. This includes providing proper hearing protection for those who are working in noisy environments.
For example, if you repeatedly asked your manager for hearing protection and were always turned down, this can be an important element to pursue in your legal case. This is especially true if you're able to provide documentation, such as an email from your manager telling you that he or she wouldn't get hearing protection for you.
Unsafe Work Environment
Some work environments have a lot of loud noises, but it's important for employers to take steps to mitigate the noise in the environment. For example, if a particular space is enclosed and thus creates a lot of echoes, the employer should consider options that will lessen the echoes.
In the case of a machine shop or loud warehouse, installing additional doors and keeping them open may help some of the noise to dissipate. If such steps weren't taken in your job, this can support your case.
Being able to take breaks and get away from a noisy environment can be beneficial for your hearing health. A break can provide a reprieve for your ears after they've been in a loud environment, and this can valuable for your long-term ability to hear. Some jobs have regularly scheduled breaks, but others do not.
In the latter scenario, you may simply be expected to work from the start of your shift through its conclusion, stopping only to eat lunch. Be sure to relay any information about a shortage of work breaks to your workers' compensation attorney as a way of enhancing the details of your case.
For more information, contact a workers' compensation law office such as Neifert Byrne & Ozga.