Industrial Deafness Solicitors - Miners Hearing Loss Compensation
Our workers compensation solicitors are specialists at handling industrial deafness and occupational hearing loss claims. If you have suffered noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) as a result of your work as a miner, you should seek legal advice. You may be entitled to thousands of dollars in compensation.
For advice and No Win No Fee legal representation for industrial deafness or occupational hearing loss , call our helpline, complete the contact form or send an email.
Noise Hazards in Mining
Exposure to loud sounds or continuous noise over a period of time can result in damage to the inner structures of the ear and permanent hearing loss.
The major noise hazard in mining is the pneumatic percussion drill. The drill impact from the drill bit, mechanical vibration from the drill casing and impulse noise from the exhaust generate the noise.
Noise can also come from equipment that includes fans and blowers for ventilation in mines, as well as from the extractive equipment itself. Extractive equipment such as longwall shearers produce continuous noise from the power pack and transmission system, and from the impact noise from the cutting head.
Workers involved in the transportation aspects of mining may be exposed to noise from the diesel powered load handlers, man-riding cars, and man carrying haulage equipment.
Occupational Deafness in Miners
Miners who work in underground blasting are particularly exposed to hazardous levels of noise, anywhere from 85dB and 140dB, which can result in noise-induced hearing loss.
A study of a large sample of audio-grams showed that at age 50, approximately 90% of coal miners and 49% of metal/non-metal miners had a hearing impairment. This was significant when compared with the fact that only 10% of the non-occupational noise-exposed population had a hearing impairment at age 50.
Symptoms of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Miners should be aware of the following signs and symptoms of industrial deafness and occupational hearing loss:
- Hearing is distorted
- Hearing is muffled
- Difficulties in understanding speech
- Temporary hearing loss which resolves in a few hours
- Gradual hearing loss over time
- Ringing in the ears
- Inability to hear high-pitched sounds
- Difficulty hearing on the telephone
- Difficulty with hearing background noise
Prevention of Industrial Deafness
Employers should ensure that:
Equipment and machinery is safe for workers to use. Developments in technology and modified designs have resulted in quieter gear. Senior management need to be aware of these factors and adopt the principle of 'buying quiet'.
Equipment should be regularly maintained to reduce noise. Worn components, especially in vibratory equipment should be replaced.
An adequate program is in place which encompasses noise hazard evaluation, selection of appropriate hearing protection devices and education and training in their use.
Wear hearing protective devices such as ear muffs or ear plugs.
Ensure they receive regular health checks including audiometric testing.