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Hearing loss is America's most common workplace injury

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When you think about the types of injuries you are likely to suffer on the job, you may think of things like back, neck, brain or repetitive motion injuries, depending on the industry you work in. It may surprise you to know, however, that the nation’s most common work-related injury is not any of these, but hearing loss.

According to USA Today, hearing loss is a highly pervasive problem for the American workforce, with roughly 22 million workers facing hazardous levels of noise in the workplace every year. While hearing loss can certainly take a physical toll on those it affects, potentially impacting a worker’s overall quality of life, it also takes a significant financial toll on the nation, with hear loss-related disability expenses topping $242 million annually.

Where your risks are

While you may assume you face the biggest risk of work-related hearing loss when you work in the nation’s loudest industries and environments, statistics indicate that this is not actually true. Instead, it is the people who make their living working in moderately loud work settings who face the most substantial risk of suffering hearing loss.

Why? Those who work in undeniably and dangerously loud professions, such as construction, mining, and manufacturing, are typically well-versed in the risks associated with hearing loss. Therefore, they are more likely to protect themselves while at work. Because those who work in the loudest environments are more likely to religiously use ear protection and otherwise take preventative measures, they are typically less likely than those in moderately loud environments to experience hearing problems.

In moderately loud environments, though, workers may be less likely to recognize the risks, and they may, therefore, be less likely to take measures to protect themselves. Similarly, employers of workers in moderately loud environments may be less strict about forcing their employees to comply with safety protocols.

If you have suffered hearing loss from working in a noisy environment, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Speak with an attorney to learn more about your rights.

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