Anyone who saw the Super Bowl last January witnessed the impact the crowd noise had on the players on the field.  The ‘12th Man’, as the fans in Seattle are known, has become famous for the extreme noise levels.   The problem is, exposure to this type of excessive noise can cause permanent hearing loss.

A recent article on , “Seahawks Fans Seek Roar Record as Experts Warn of Health Risks”, discusses the hearing risk posed by exposure to noise levels, often reaching up to 132 decibels. The article cites experts who indicate that hearing loss is caused by both noise level and duration and that exposure to these noise levels could cause permanent hearing damage.

In addition, the National Acoustic Laboratories in Australia, found that the noise of fitness classes at the gym are almost as high as a jet engine.   Finding that Circuit and Spin classes had noise levels as high as 94 decibels.    This would impact the instructors and gym employees even more than the gym members, as the overall hours exposed is significantly higher.

To prove hearing loss from an occupational exposure, the loss must be to both ears.   If you do not suffer enough of a loss in one ear, the hearing loss will not qualify for benefits in a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation claim.  The standard is different for hearing loss caused by a single incident, such as a gunshot or explosion.   Hearing loss for a specific accident can be to one ear, hearing loss from ongoing exposure needs to affect both ears.

Stadium workers, Gym employees, Factory workers, heavy equipment operators, firefighters and first responders, and many other occupations are exposed to high noise levels that could result in an Occupational Hearing Loss.   If you feel that you’ve suffered a work related hearing loss, it is important to know that you only have 2 years from the last date of exposure to file a workers’ compensation claim.   If you’ve undergone audiometric testing that shows a hearing loss and you’ve been exposed to high noise levels at work, you may very well have a viable workers’ compensation claim.