42+ Years of Serving Injured Workers in Pennsylvania
For Injured Workers
Recovering Compensation for Occupational Hearing Loss
Whether it is at a construction site or bustling factory, workers may not realize that they are at risk for hearing loss. Hearing loss is one of the most common work injuries, affecting over 20 million workers. Workers in the construction and manufacturing industries are most at risk of suffering from the cumulative, hazardous effects of excessive and loud noise in their workplaces.
Many believe that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standards regarding when employers provide sound protection gear to their staff is too low and causes injuries that could be prevented. Others say that employers fail to properly warn their workers, especially when noise levels are moderate. Workers who are exposed to noise for eight hours or more or above 85 decibels must be informed by employers of the hazards and receive periodic hearing tests and ear protection.
GET A FREE CONSULTATION WITH LARRY PITT
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Recover Compensation for Workers With Occupational Hearing Loss
For the last 40 years, the Philadelphia law firm of Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. has helped injured workers get the benefits they need to start their recovery. If you have questions about your eligibility for workers’ compensation in PA, or if you wish to schedule a free consultation with us, please call 888-PITT-LAW or fill out the contact form for more information about workers’ compensation. Larry Pitt & Associates helps throughout:
Evaluating Hearing Loss
Experiencing hearing loss and subsequently failing a hearing test may not be enough evidence for a worker to be qualified to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act states that to receive benefits, it must be established that the injury was work-related, and that the individual must suffer from binaural hearing damage of 10 percent or more. Workers who suspect hearing damage should schedule an appointment with an otolaryngologist (ENT) or audiologist to assess hearing loss. Pertinent criteria, such as if the injury resulted from work and at what percentage, will be determined. Using specific formulas, the physician will take audiometric tests that measure the range and sensitivity of the individual’s hearing, and issue reports with the results.
Hearing Loss Claims
Hearing loss claims differ from any other workers’ compensation claim in that the worker may be entitled to specific loss benefits, which are in addition to typical wage loss benefits. The statute of limitations to file a claim is typically three years from the date of initial exposure or the date of the last time the employee worked in a loud environment. If the claim is not filed within the designated period, the claimant may be denied benefits.
Three steps must be taken in filing a claim, which may require the assistance of a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer. A doctor must determine that the hearing loss is 10 percent or more and is binaural. Proof must be confirmed that the ear damage resulted from hazardous noise exposure. Then the doctor must offer a statement that the claimant’s hearing loss originated from exposure to excessive noise.