Exposure to loud noise on Pennsylvania construction sites can lead to permanent hearing loss while making it more difficult to communicate on a job site. Outside of work, irreversible hearing loss may make it harder to talk with friends or take part in other social activities. This can lead to social isolation and depression, and it can also increase the risk of heart disease.
Hearing loss may occur when exposed to a single loud event such as an explosion. However, it is also possible to lose hearing over a longer period of time when exposed to noise from nail guns or other tools used on the job. Long-term occupational hearing loss is considered a stealth form of injury because it is painless, and it may be many years before a worker realizes that he or she has diminished hearing.
Workers may be able to prevent hearing loss by keeping track of how loud their tools are. The intensity of noise that a worker experiences is measured in decibles, and OSHA says that workers should be exposed to no more than an average of 85 dBA per eight hours worked. When measuring the intensity of sound, an increase of three decibels doubles the intensity of the sound being heard while cutting in half the recommended exposure time.
Workers who suffer from hearing loss or any other workplace injury may be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits under their employer’s insurance policy. These benefits can include medical treatment and a percentage of any wages lost. Many injured workers obtain the assistance of an attorney when preparing and filing their claims.