Noisy Worksites Make for More Accidents

When coworkers can communicate effectively with each other at work, many accidents on-the-job can be prevented. For example, a coworker could warn his peers of hazardous conditions or do something as simple as shout “look out,” in order to stop an imminent accident from happening. Unfortunately, in some workplaces, it is difficult for people to communicate as a result of excessive noise. hearing-impaired-1016277-m.jpg

Excessive noise can result in damage to a worker’s hearing that never goes away. A Spartanburg, SC work accident lawyer can represent victims who suffer hearing losses because of loud worksites and help them to make workers’ compensation claims. The hearing problems and potential deafness may not be the only issue that workers on loud job sites face either, as a new study reported on in Canadian Occupation Safety suggested that both hearing loss and loud workplaces may increase the risk of all types of workplace accidents.

Noisy Worksites and On-the-Job Dangers

Researchers looked at 46,550 work records belong to men in varying professions. A total of 1,670 of the workers were identified who had suffered a work-related injury that was severe enough to require hospitalization and who had also undergone a hearing test within five years of the hospitalization for their injury. Workers with hearing loss were thus identified, and these workers were compared with others in similar positions who did not suffer from any degree of hearing impairment. It turned out that the hearing loss made worksites more dangerous for employees.

The results of the research showed that every decibel of hearing loss experienced by a worker at his or her job could result in a one percent increase in the risk of a workplace injury resulting in ER admission. These injuries were unrelated to hearing loss- they were caused by other on-the-job accidents.

When a worker was exposed to a decibel level exceeding 100, this resulted in 2.4 times the risk that an accident would occur that would be severe enough to require hospitalization.

Workers who already suffered from severe hearing loss and who subsequently went to work in a place with noise frequently exceeding 100 decibels fared the worst. These workers had a 3.6 times greater chance of being hospitalization than a worker who didn’t have hearing loss or a loud place to work.

Because there are so many more workers who are hearing impaired and getting hurt, it seems apparent that there is a connection between the accident and the difficulty hearing. One possible explanation is that loud noises in the workplace can make it harder to see or hear warning signs.

Another possible explanation is that loud noises make it more difficult for employees to concentrate on the task at-hand. Excessive noise can even make a worker more tired and thus less careful. Workers’ compensation laws protect workers even if their own mistakes contribute to negligence, so those who get hurt can make workers’ compensation claims.

The fact that hearing loss leads to an increased risk of other injuries is an important fact for both employers and employees to be aware of. As many as 30 million workers in the United States work on job-sites where they are regularly exposed to excessive noise. Employers and employees at these worksites need to protect their hearing and to develop visual signals to use for situations when employees need to communicate about safety issues above the din of the work environment.

If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.

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