Loss of Hearing

We hear sounds from household appliances, music and television daily. These sounds are typically at safe levels and will not damage our hearing. Loud noises, though, especially if you’re exposed to them for an extended period can result in noise-induced hearing loss.

Loud machines and equipment surround those in the maritime industry, placing them at risk for losing their hearing. Sound is one of the major senses. When it’s lost, it can have a detrimental effect on one’s physical and psychological wellbeing.  Contact a maritime attorney if you or someone you love has lost or damaged their hearing while working in the maritime industry.

Loss of Hearing Maritime Attorney in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska

You should not be left covering the cost of an injury caused by someone else. Let BoatLaw, LLP advocate on your behalf. We have over 40 years of experience representing injured maritime workers along the Pacific Coast. Our attorney will stop at nothing to ensure you recover the compensation you need.

Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a time to speak with us more about your case. BoatLaw, LLP advocates for clients in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska.

Information Center

Back to Top

Maritime Noise Regulations

Vessel owners and employers have a duty of care to their employees and are required to abide by regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You may be able to recover compensation for your hearing loss if your employer failed to follow OSHA standards.

Overlooking OSHA guidelines is not uncommon. In fact, last year alone, business paid more than $1.5 million in penalties for failing to protect workers from harmful noise levels. Longshore operations and work in maritime terminals fall under the requirements of OSHA’s general industry noise standards, so employer in such operations must abide by these standards.

According to section 1910.95 of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards, an employer is required to do the following:

  • Provide hearing protection when employees are exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or more
  • Provide adequate training on how to properly use the hearing protection
  • Ensure all employees are wearing hearing protection

Back to Top

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) poses a grave threat to maritime workers due to their prolonged exposure to noises at high decibels. Some may experience a minor loss in hearing, while other workers may lose the sense entirely. Either way, losing your hearing can have a massive impact on your future and quality of life.

In addition to prolonged exposure, NIHL can be caused by exposure to an intense impulse sound such as an explosion, horns, and sonic booms. When this happens, the microscopic hairs lining the inner ear are damaged. Once these tiny hairs are damaged, their cells cannot send sound information to the brain, resulting in hearing loss.

Back to Top

How is Hearing Loss Compensated?

As an injured maritime worker, federal laws grant you the right to seek compensation for injuries caused by a negligent employer or unseaworthy vessel. Hearing loss due to an accident or time in the maritime industry is compensated based on various facts such as if the accident took place at sea, the type of vessel where the injury occurred and your duties as a maritime worker.

Generally, an injured seaman can recover compensation for the following types of damages:

  • Future and past medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earnings capacity
  • Mental anguish
  • Maintenance and cure
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Determining how much you need to recover and which maritime laws apply to your situation is a complicated process. An experienced maritime attorney can assess your case and guide you on the best course of action. Contact BoatLaw, LLP if your hearing loss is the result of a negligent employer.

Back to Top

Additional Resources for Loss of Hearing

Occupational Noise Exposure | OSHA – Visit the official website of the United States Department of Labor to read an overview of noise standards set forth by OSHA. You can access health effects of exposure to unsafe levels of sounds, hearing conservation programs and what can be done to reduce the dangers of loud noise.

Occupational Noise Exposure | OSHA– Follow the link provided to read the section of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards to learn about the sound regulations for longshore and maritime terminal workers. You can read about what additional steps employers must be taken when noise levels are dangerously high, what is considered a permissible level of noise and audiometric testing programs.

Back to Top

Loss of Hearing Maritime Lawyer in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska

You have the right to seek compensation for the injuries caused by a negligent employer, ship-owner or crewmember.  Take the first step in recovering what you are entitled to and contact BoatLaw, LLP. Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a confidential consultation.

BoatLaw, LLP represents injured maritime workers in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska.

Back to Top

  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
  • Washington State Bar Association
    The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals.
  • Oregon State Bar
    The Oregon State Bar is a government agency in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1890 as the private Oregon Bar Association, it became a public entity in 1935 that regulates the legal profession.
  • Alaska Bar Association
    The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory bar association responsible to the Alaska Supreme Court for the admission and discipline process of attorneys for the State of Alaska.