Noise is probably not at the top of most people’s thoughts when thinking about dangers that might leave them needing to make an ERISA disability claim. Yet, noise can have massive long-term health effects.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four people who lose or damage their hearing do so at work. That’s not a surprise, considering that you spend around one-third of your day at work, and a large part of the rest of your day is so quiet that you can sleep.
85 decibels is where you should start to really worry
That is what the CDC considers a dangerous level of noise. Yet it is not just about how loud a noise is when it reaches your ear, it is how long it lasts and how often you repeat that exposure.
If you work in construction, you might need to use the odd explosion to clear the way for new structures. While loud, they are not necessarily worse than the machines that you use every day. They could end up doing more damage because you expose your ears to them for hours at a time, day after day.
Protecting your ears is key
As you cannot cure hearing loss, you should do all you can to prevent it, and so should any employers asking you to work in a noisy environment. Ear protection such as earplugs and earmuffs can do a lot, but so can careful consideration of which machines to use, where to put noisy machines in relation to people, and the use of sound barriers.
If your hearing is damaged, consider legal help to make an ERISA disability claim.