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Understanding Industrial Deafness: Claim with Industrial Hearing Services

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Industrial deafness is a significant workplace injury that affects many Australian workers who have been exposed to high levels of noise gradually over years of hard work. Understanding this condition, recognising its symptoms, and knowing how to claim compensation are crucial steps for affected individuals. This blog post will explain the science behind industrial deafness and guide you through the process of an industrial deafness claim, highlighting the role of IHS in helping you secure the compensation and treatment you qualify for.

What is Industrial Deafness? 

Industrial deafness refers to hearing loss caused by prolonged exposure to excessive noise levels in the workplace. Common industries where workers are at risk include manufacturing, construction, and mining. However, it’s not just these obvious noisy jobs; other professions, such as painters, butchers and even some types of office work with consistent background industrial noise, can also contribute to industrial deafness. No matter your profession, if it has exposed you to hazardous noise levels, it’s important to get your hearing checked by a qualified audiologist to prevent any further hearing loss. Find out how you can book a free hearing test with IHS here

The Impact of Industrial Deafness in Australia

Industrial deafness is a lesser-known but significant occupational health issue in Australia. Before we explain the science behind it, here are some key facts to note:

  • Around 1 million Australian workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels in the workplace (Safe Work Australia). 
  • The Australian Government reported that 3.6 million Australians have some level of hearing loss, largely due to noise exposure.
  • According to Safe Work Australia, industrial deafness claims are most common among male workers aged 55 to 59, showing the effects of long-term exposure to loud workplaces.

If you think you are experiencing industrial deafness, you are not alone. These statistics show that industrial hearing loss is a widespread issue affecting many Australian workers. Understanding how noise impacts your hearing is crucial so you can use proper hearing protection as a preventative measure.

The Science Behind Industrial Deafness 

Industrial deafness happens when high-frequency noises damage the delicate structures of the inner ear. Specifically, it affects tiny hair cells in the cochlea that convert sound vibrations into electrical signals for the brain. Prolonged exposure to loud noise from machinery or tools can damage or destroy these hair cells. Unfortunately, once damaged, these cells cannot regenerate, leading to permanent hearing loss.

Sound travels through the ear canal and is converted by hair cells in the cochlea into electrical signals that enter the brain. ttsz/iStock via Getty Images Plus

High-frequency noise is particularly harmful because it causes the hair cells responsible for processing these sounds to deteriorate first. This damage results in difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds, such as birds chirping, and understanding speech in noisy environments, like the local pub, or the football game. For a deeper dive into how industrial noise affects hearing, you can refer to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Decibels of Work Tools that Cause Industrial Deafness  

Decibels (dB) measure the intensity of sound. A normal conversation typically registers at around 60-70 dB, which is considered safe for prolonged exposure. However, noise levels above 85 decibels are particularly harmful and this can lead to industrial deafness over time. Unfortunately, noise levels in certain industrial settings can far exceed 85 dB. Here’s a breakdown of the decibels of some tools you may be familiar with from work: 

  • Normal Conversation: 60-70 dB (Safe for prolonged exposure)
  • Chainsaw: 110-120 dB 
  • Circular Saw: 90-100 dB 
  • Table Saw: 90-100 dB 
  • Hand Drill: 90-100 dB 
  • Lawn Mower: 85-90 dB 
  • Belt Sander: 90-100 dB 
  • High-Pressure Spray Painting: 95-105 dB 
  • Angle Grinder: 95-105 dB 
  • Impact Wrench: 95-105 dB 
  • Metal Shear: 90-100 dB 
  • Router: 90-100 dB 
  • Planer: 90-100 dB 

Workers in industries like construction, manufacturing, mining, and agriculture often encounter these high noise levels, significantly increasing their risk of developing industrial deafness. Therefore, it’s essential to monitor and manage noise exposure to protect your hearing health.

Symptoms of Industrial Deafness 

Recognising the symptoms of industrial deafness early can lead to timely intervention and management. Some common indicators include:

  • Difficulty understanding conversations, especially in noisy environments like the pub
  • Frequently turning up the volume on the TV or radio to hear clearly 
  • Persistent ringing in the ears (also known as tinnitus)
  • Withdrawal from social situations due to your hearing
  • Finding it hard to hear high-pitched sounds such as your grandchildren chatting

Seeking professional help early can prevent further deterioration of your hearing. If you are experiencing industrial hearing loss symptoms and have questions, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information.

Treatment and Management of Industrial Deafness

While industrial deafness can be irreversible, digital hearing aids can improve communication and quality of life by amplifying sounds. Modern technology allows hearing aids to be less visible in your ear and can be customised to suit individual preferences and needs. Premium hearing aids may come with wireless charging cases and connect to your TV so you can stream sound directly from your device, whilst other family members can listen at a more comfortable volume. They can even help with tinnitus by masking any ringing or buzzing sounds. By wearing hearing aids, people with industrial deafness can significantly enhance their ability to communicate, while also preserving their remaining hearing. If you are looking for free premium hearing aids obtained through an Industrial Deafness claim, contact IHS.

How to Make an Industrial Deafness Claim with IHS

Industrial deafness is a gradual process, often making it difficult to pinpoint exactly when your hearing loss began. Symptoms can appear slowly, and many people may not realise the extent of their hearing loss until it significantly impacts their daily lives. Even if you only noticed hearing loss recently, it might have started years ago. Whether you are retired and worked in a noisy job in the past or are currently working, you can still make a claim. Many workers aren’t aware that they can still be eligible for compensation long after they’ve left the workplace. 

Industrial Hearing Services has a streamlined process to help you make an industrial deafness claim. Here’s how it works:

  1. Complete our Form: Start the process by filling out our quick contact form.
  2. Consultation Call: One of our friendly consultants will call you to discuss your work history and assess your eligibility with a few questions.
  3. Attend a Free Hearing Test: If eligible, we’ll book you in for a free hearing test at your closest location with a qualified audiologist.

Start Your Industrial Deafness Claim: We’ll connect you with specialist medical and legal companies who provide services on a no out-of-pocket cost basis. We handle all the details of your claim, ensuring a smooth experience.

Why Choose Industrial Hearing Services?

30 Years of Expertise 

With nearly three decades of experience since 1994, IHS has perfected a process that’s straightforward and stress-free. We are experts in industrial deafness, ensuring a hassle-free experience for each individual we help. Learn more about our expertise.

A Track Record of Success 

We’ve helped thousands of hardworking Aussies just like you secure significant cash compensation for hearing loss. In fact, people we’ve helped have enjoyed an average payout of $19,039 in 2022 alone. Trust us to get the results you qualify for. 

Understanding and Empathy 

We understand that losing your hearing because of your job is tough. It’s not just about hearing; it’s about quality of life. If you’re struggling to hear your family members or can’t enjoy life as you used to, we’re here to help. Find out more about how IHS can help you here

No Risk 

We operate on a no out-of-pocket cost basis, meaning there’s no financial risk to you. If you’re not eligible, there are no costs whatsoever.

Find Out If You Qualify Today

Whether you’re still on the tools or enjoying retirement, it doesn’t matter. Start improving your life today – Click to check your eligibility. Fill out our form to see if you qualify for cash compensation and hearing treatment with our help at Industrial Hearing Services. For more detailed information on industrial deafness and the claims process, Contact Us.