Evaluation and Compensation of Occupational Hearing Loss in the United States.
AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OHIO
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The legal system of the United States deals with occupational hearing loss in two ways first prevention of hearing loss through noise exposure regulations and second through laws providing for compensation for occupationally induced hearing loss. The various ways in which Federal and state laws cover both aspects will be discussed. There is a difference in philosophy in evaluating hearing loss for purposes of prevention as opposed to compensation. However, modern approaches to hearing conservation and the establishment of protective standards dictate that any hearing loss should be prevented, so far as possible. Nowdays, noiseinduced permanent threshold shift is considered compensable in most states. There is, however, wide variation among the states as to the rules for filing claims, the maximum amount of compensation awarded and the method by which hearing impairment is determined.
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