There are moments when those from here in Louisiana get the view of a lifetime on board the ship they work on. Just the noise of the water, the stars and the salty breeze in a quiet corner can often make a rough day worthwhile. However, over time, some of those workers may no longer be able to enjoy the sounds of the water due to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) caused by their jobs.
Hearing can easily be damaged by exposure to dangerously loud and prolonged noises. Even short bursts of these loud noises on a routine basis could damage an individual's hearing. In many cases, the loss is not noticed right away. It could take months or even years of exposure for the full extent of the damage to occur. Workers could begin to notice that they cannot quite make out the words another person is saying even though they can hear them talking.
Hearing loss is not an age specific issue, especially if it is work related. Even one instance, such as an explosion, could cause significant problems for an individual. Otherwise, most of the cases of NIHL occur over time. Your employer should be aware of the dangers to your ears while on the job and should provide you with the required safety gear and training. Even so, it may not be enough.
If a Louisiana resident who works on a vessel suffers from NIHL, his or her life could change forever. While normal workers' compensation benefits are not available to those who work aboard vessels, claims regarding hearing loss or other injuries can be made through the Jones Act. Obtaining the maximum amount of benefits may require some advice and assistance from an attorney with experience in this area of law.