Firefighters are on the front lines saving lives and protecting homes and property, often at the risk of their own health. As a firefighter, one of the biggest risks you face is losing your hearing. Despite the layers of protective clothing and headgear, you are always at risk of hearing loss due to continuous exposure to loud noises.
Sirens and Other Loud Noises
As a fireman, sirens and loud horns are part of your daily routine. When fighting fires, you may be exposed to explosions or loud bangs caused by the destruction of property. Constant exposure to these deafening noises may result in substantial hearing loss. For as much as you do to protect your hearing, you may still at least encounter partial hearing loss.
The Dangers of Hearing Loss and Fighting Fires
As a firefighter, hearing loss can be extremely dangerous. Being unable to hear while in a burning building or other scenarios can be dangerous to you and your team. You need to be able to hear what others are saying so that you can move away from danger and save people's lives. Hearing loss you incur as part of your job as a firefighter can cause problems in other areas of your life as well.
Can You Be a Firefighter with Hearing Loss?
You can still be a firefighter despite any hearing condition, depending on the severity of your hearing loss. To be a firefighter, you must meet the Category A and B requirements set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These two categories distinguish firefighters based on the severity of their hearing loss.
The conditions listed in Category A can put your firefighting peers and others at significant risk because of your hearing loss. On the other hand, Category B lists down conditions that may potentially harm others, depending on the severity of your hearing condition. You will not be allowed to work as a firefighter if your hearing ailment is classed as Category A. If you fall under Category B, you will be examined by a health professional and tested on your ability to perform the 14 essential tasks of a firefighter.
Do You Need an Attorney to File a Firefighter Hearing Loss Lawsuit?
Hearing loss is one of the greatest risks that a firefighter is exposed to, especially because of the deafening alarms and blazing sirens that occur during a fire. If you begin to notice that you are always asking others to repeat what they are saying or that the volume on your television is excessively high, you may want to schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist. Once a diagnosis has been made to where your hearing loss is directly related to your work as a firefighter, you should call your employer. Working with a workers' compensation attorney will ease your case as you file lawsuits for hearing loss against manufacturers of emergency vehicles' sirens.
Gaylord & Nantais are worker's compensation attorneys who understand the issues firefighters face when dealing with hearing loss that is directly related to their jobs. Schedule an appointment with one of the attorneys and make sure your rights are fully protected.
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