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Extraction industry workers at risk for hearing loss

According to an American Journal of Industrial Medicine report, roughly 61% of people who work in the gas and oil extraction or mining industries are exposed to noise levels at work that rise to the level of hazardous. There are also chemicals used in those industries that can increase the risk of hearing loss. When individuals in New Jersey suffer hearing loss or other on-the-job injuries, they may be entitled to recovery through the state’s workers’ compensation system.

In mining, according to the report, 24% of employees who were exposed to noise experienced some level of hearing loss. Gravel mining, specifically, had the highest levels of hearing loss among workers at 36%. In iron ore mining, the number was 27%, and in nickel ore and copper ore mining, it was 24%. Noise-exposed employees in coal mining were twice as likely to lose their hearing as messengers and couriers, who are not as likely to be exposed to hazardous noise at work.

The research indicated that 14% of oil and gas extraction employees who were exposed to noise sustained hearing loss. Of those who worked in natural gas liquid extraction, 28% who were exposed to noise suffered hearing loss. Employers can help prevent hearing loss at work by moving workers periodically away from noise-exposed jobs to lower exposure, reducing equipment noise with engineering controls or lowering noise levels at the source.

The New Jersey workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured individuals with benefits if they have been hurt on the job without requiring them to pursue claims in civil court. An attorney who handles workers’ compensation cases may assist by gathering medical records and other evidence to put together a claim. A lawyer might also communicate with government officials on a client’s behalf or file an appeal in cases that have been denied initially.