While many of us take our hearing for granted, it is important to remember the thousands of Australians who don’t have this privilege anymore.
Hearing loss is a problem that Australia has to face in the coming years and supporting those who have suffered injury is the first step in this journey.
This topic was raised late last month when Australia recognised Hearing Awareness Week, which took place between August 23 and 29. Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash spoke at the Hearing Care Industry Association breakfast at Parliament House and outlined some key hearing loss statistics.
According to Ms Nash, around one in six Australians contend with some form of hearing loss. However, by the year 2050, this figure could be as high as one-in-four.
Who is at risk of hearing loss?
It is important to remember that anyone could lose his or her hearing. Regardless of our age, occupation or gender, just one incident could cause severe and permanent hearing issues.
Ms Nash explained any form of hearing loss prevents us from communicating effectively.
“Hearing loss reduces our ability to communicate with our friends and family and to participate in social situations. It can also affect education and job prospects,” she said in an August 18 media statement.
“Young people and those in loud working environments are particularly susceptible to hearing loss from exposure to loud noises.”
Workers in focus
Apart from the next generation blasting music through their headphones, industrial workers are the next group at risk of hearing loss. Whether it is the sound of tools, vehicles or machinery, sustained exposure to loud noises can leave permanent damage without the right protection.
According to Safe Work Australia, the average worker is able to work around 85 decibels over an eight hour period based on national standards. Anything louder than this standard or a longer length of exposure can impact hearing.
The authority explains that workers can suffer “instant damage” to hearing if they encounter noise levels above 140 decibels. This can include a sledge-hammer at close proximity or a gun shot.
As mentioned above, the loss of hearing can impact a person both physically and emotionally. This means that it might be hard to continue working in the same occupation or even be employed at all.
If this sounds familiar, then it might pay to talk to a compensation lawyer. Our expert team can talk through the details of your case and assess whether you can claim for compensation for your suffered hearing loss.