Handling Noise and Hearing Loss at Work
Everyone experiences a little bit of background noise in his or her workplace. But when if you are experiencing hearing loss, noise levels and proper accommodations can make or break your employment experience.
Whether disruptive noise is affecting your work or you need advice for finding a job that can accommodate your hearing loss, here are a few tips.
Finding a job
When you’ve experienced hearing loss, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the ideal job situation. A good place to start is resources provided nationally to people with hearing loss. Job sites such as GettingHired.com can connect applicants with hearing loss with potential employers. These sites can help you get started with your job search.
In whatever job you pursue, your state or local vocational rehabilitation center can assist you in not only finding a job to fit your needs, but also to help you keep that job through providing services such as auditory training, evaluations, on-the-job accommodations and skill-building (i.e., résumé development, interview practice, etc.).
When it comes to hearing loss caused by your job, there are regulations around noise exposure in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that workers be limited in their exposure to high-decibel noise throughout a standard, eight-hour workday. As the noise level increases, the number of hours an employee is allowed to be exposed is reduced exponentially. Talk to your OSHA rep about these rules.
In addition to on-the-job support, you’re also legally entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This law prevents you from discrimination or inaccessible work environments, unless it poses an undue hardship on the employer. Your workplace must comply with standards to provide the proper equipment and supplies to meet your needs.
Your hearing loss doesn’t have to prevent you from being in a career you love. Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re looking to make a move to a new job or improve your existing one.
Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Hearing Loss Association of America
Posted by NJAdmin on Apr 19, 2016