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Hearing loss accommodations at the workplace

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2020 | Blog, Workers' Compensation

Unfortunately, thousands of workplace hearing loss incidents occur annually, many of which result in permanent hearing loss. Employees in Wisconsin and across the United States who have suffered job-related hearing loss may be entitled to specific workplace accommodations that could encourage positive communication and healthy productivity levels.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, around 30 million employees are subjected to noise levels high enough to cause hearing loss that’s irreversible. Workplace hearing loss is a serious issue, and employees who have experienced hearing loss are encouraged to speak with their supervisors or human resources department to request the appropriate accommodations.

Accommodations an employee should request will largely depend on their unique needs. Depending on the severity of the hearing loss and the type of equipment the employee relies on throughout the course of a work day, an employee may request a hearing aid-compatible telephone or an Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone service. An employee may request that his or her employer primarily communicate via email and ask to receive a copy of notes summarizing the agendas of any meetings that are attended. When it comes to emergency notification systems that are designed to ensure employee safety, an employee has the right to request extra measures such as the installation of strobe lights on fire alarms or vibrating pagers.

People with hearing loss often have difficulty understanding speech, especially when background noise is present. Making arrangements with employers and co-workers can go a long way in helping an individual with hearing loss maintain productivity and communication while at the workplace. If you or someone you know has suffered hearing loss due to a workplace incident, a workers’ compensation attorney may be able to assist.