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Hearing loss as a workplace injury

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2021 | Uncategorized

Working around loud machinery or tools can put a profound strain on one’s hearing, which may eventually translate to hearing loss. As a workplace injury, hearing loss often goes on to affect virtually all other aspects of a person’s life. Without the proper ear protection, workers in Rhode Island are at risk for suffering serious hearing loss in the future. 

Physical effects of hearing loss 

When a worker is exposed to excessive or prolonged loud noises, he or she may suffer irreversible damage to inner ear nerve endings. This ultimately destroys the inner ear nerve endings and leads to hearing loss in victims. Hearing loss also: 

  • Makes communicating difficult 
  • Interferes with job performance and concentration 
  • Contributes to workplace accidents 
  • Negatively impacts victim’s earning potential 

Emotional effects of hearing loss 

Victims with hearing loss also report suffering from a range of mental health disorders, too. For example, many begin experiencing sleep disturbances that prevent them from getting a full night’s rest. Hearing loss can also cause some of the following mental and emotional problems: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Irritability 
  • Self-isolation 
  • Hostility 

Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common types of work-related injuries, affecting approximately 24% of all workers. Unfortunately, since it is often a gradual and painless process, it often goes unnoticed until it is far too late to take preventative action. For men and women suffering from this or a similar workplace injury, it might be helpful to explore options for benefits through Rhode Island’s workers’ compensation system.