“Hearing loss a notable risk in farming” Asons Solicitors Comments

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According to the Times Dispatch, over a third of US farmers have some level of industrial hearing loss, often as a result of working with pigs, tractors and grain dryers during harvest. (1)

Allegedly, around a third of the 3 million U.S. farmers have some level of hearing loss, caused by the daily exposure to agricultural sounds. Comparable to the noise of a rock concert, farmers who fail to protect their hearing in their 20s can develop hearing loss, similar to the level suffered by someone middle aged. (1)

“You just can’t get away from the machinery,” said Tom Duerst, a 55-year-old Wisconsin dairy farmer. A sufferer of partial hearing loss, Tom attributes this damage to the farm noises he was exposed to as a child. (1)

Many of those working on small farms are oblivious to the damage that working in a loud environment can do to their hearing, because only the largest U.S. farms operate under federal workplace safety regulations. (1)

Though the risks have been known for decades, only recently have nonprofits, university researchers and federal agencies focused on trying to educate farmers and their children on how to avoid hearing loss, by wearing sound-cutting earmuffs or ear plugs. (1)

Thomas Fairclough, Executive at Asons Solicitors, commented that:

“These farmers need to take the same precautions that are expected of someone who works in any industrial environment. Industrial Hearing Loss is irreversible, however, it is preventable. It is comforting to see that so much research, government agencies, and charities, are doing so much to increase awareness.”

Recent developments in farming machinery have made equipment run quieter; however, some farmers still use older, noisier models. Livestock such as pigs and chickens, contained in barns, still produce the same noise levels; a squealing pig, for example, can be as loud as a running chainsaw. (1)

Despite the adult population’s improvement in hearing since the 1970s, when workplace safety rules began, the threat to farmer’s hearing loss only came into the spotlight only in the past five years, said Gordon Hughes, director of clinical programs for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (1)

He said repeated exposure to noises in excess of 85 decibels, comparable to the sound of heavy city traffic, damages tiny nerve endings called hair cells inside the cochlea, the inner ear’s pea-sized hearing organ. (1)

Hughes estimates that more than a third of the nation’s 3 million farmers are likely to suffer from some level of noise-induced hearing loss, but some research suggests nearly three-quarters of farmers have some hearing loss. (1)

Asons Solicitors suggest that if someone would like to learn more about Industrial Hearing Loss, or if they would like to better understand the hearing loss claims process, that information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133

(1) Hearing loss a notable risk in farming - http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/national-world/hearing-loss-a-notable-risk-in-farming/article_165fb55f-1a02-562e-b7dd-e14361a44f82.html - Times and Dispatch

–ENDS –

About Asons Solicitors:

Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:

Email: info(at)ason(dot)co(dot)uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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John King
@AsonsSolicitors
since: 01/2013
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