Hearing Loss Common Injury Among Railroad Workers
Anyone who has sat at a railroad crossing waiting for a train to pass has no doubt noticed a large amount of noise associated with trains. For railroad workers, this noise is not merely an occasional annoyance, but an occupational hazard that can lead to severe hearing loss.
When a railroad worker experiences hearing loss that can be directly attributed to his job and his employer failed to take action to rid the working environment from hazards, he may be entitled to a settlement under the Federal Employers Liability Act, or FELA, a federal law that was passed in 1908 to protect the rights of injured railroad workers. The lawmakers at that time recognized the hazards of working in the railroad industry and enacted FELA with provisions that enable the injured worker to hold the railroad company liable for monetary damages.
OSHA Standards for Excessive Noise Levels
Because the railroad work environment can be extremely loud, over time many workers suffer extensive hearing loss, even though the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards in place for allowable noise levels in the workplace. According to OSHA, if the noise level at any workplace is at or above 85 dB(A) during an eight-hour workday, the employer is required to have hearing conservation programs in place for workers, and workers must be provided with hearing protectors if they are exposed to 85 decibels or more during their shift.
According to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), workplace-related hearing loss is the most prevalent work-related injury, and 22 million workers exposed to hazardous levels of noise each year. If you sustained hearing loss related to your job as a railroad worker, contact Murray & Murray online or call 419-624-3000 (toll-free 1-800-624-3009) to schedule your free, risk-free initial consultation with one of our railroad injury attorneys today.