The law acknowledges that some work environments are noisier than others. Jobs like welding, carpentry and aircraft maintenance expose workers to loud noise that could affect their hearing. This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides workplace standards related to noise exposure that employers must follow.
However, if employers fail to adhere to these standards, which leads to employee injuries, the latter may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation.
Criteria of eligibility
Fortunately, California workers’ compensation insurance covers reasonable medical care and treatment to treat work-related hearing loss. However, the claimant must prove that the following exists:
- That the employee suffers from hearing loss
- That the injury is directly related to or caused by their work
Of course, there are other circumstances to consider depending on each case, but these two are the main criteria the workers’ comp board looks into before awarding benefits.
If the employee is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, they can recover funds to cover medical expenses related to treating their hearing condition. This can include hearing aid devices or cochlear implants if the doctor prescribes the same. Moreover, workers’ comp can also award the employee compensation for lost wages, temporary or permanent disability, or decreased earning capacity caused by the injury.
It is important to note that the compensation will depend on the unique circumstances of each case. Some claimants may receive benefits that are not applicable to others.
Protecting your rights
One of the most important senses is hearing since we use this on a daily basis, not only at work. It is good to know that workers’ compensation insurance covers hearing injuries so affected employees can seek the compensation they are eligible for.