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Dealing with occupational hearing loss in California

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hearing loss is the third-most common chronic condition in older American adults. It afflicts 11 percent of the working population, and 24 percent of cases involving workers' hearing loss occurred due to noise exposure at their job sites. Any noise that is louder than 85 decibels is considered to be hazardous.

Certain substances that workers are exposed to in the workplace may also result in hearing loss. For instance, excess mercury or carbon dioxide in the air could cause hearing loss or other hearing issues. It is estimated that 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous levels of noise while 10 million are exposed to chemicals that could lead to hearing loss. This is why having a hearing loss surveillance program is vital for any organization.

Companies should have designated workers or other designated parties who collect data about how many workers are impacted by noise within that organization. Data should then be compared to other companies within the industry and other industries to determine the scope of the problem. After data has been collected and analyzed, efforts can be undertaken to reduce the instances of hearing loss or exposure to hazardous chemicals that could lead to hearing loss.

Those who suffer injuries in work-related accidents or through exposure to harmful chemicals may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits may help workers pay bills and other living expenses while they are unable to work. Those who are unable to return to work may receive permanent disability benefits. Talking to an attorney may help injured workers determine their rights and which benefits they may be eligible for.

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