For workers who are exposed to loud noises throughout the course of their workdays, long-term hearing loss is a real concern. When we think of vocations that involve deafening noises, though, we usually think of factories and construction. However, there's another job that involves a significant risk of hearing loss: landscaping.
Crews that have to use leaf blowers, weed whackers, lawn mowers and other such tools on the job are exposed to sound that is literally deafening. Experts say that there are few tools that are harder on your ears than leaf blowers, which can reach levels of 95 decibels or more. As a point of reference, your ears can be damaged by anything in the 85-decibel range.
Here's the really scary part: hearing loss doesn't just affect your ability to hear. It can also lead to depression, anxiety and cognitive decline. Moreover, losing your ability to hear well can make it hard to perform well at other jobs, which can ultimately affect your living.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that $242 million is now spent every year in hearing loss workers' compensation claims. This is an important point because if you feel your hearing loss was caused by exposure to loud noise at your workplace, you have a right to workers' compensation.
If you've been denied workers' comp, it may be a good idea to sit down with an attorney. A lawyer with experience in employees rights cases will be able to help you fight for the compensation you need for medical expenses, rehabilitation and more.
Source: mcall.com, "Leaf blower blowback," Sam Kennedy, December 4, 2016