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Louisiana Record | Louisiana's Legal Journal


NEW ORLEANS – Last week the Louisiana Supreme Court handed down a legal precedent that appears to put a halt on several tort cases in which employees working in loud work places have sued their employers for personal injury over hearing loss instead of pursuing workers’ compensation actions.

Over the past few years there has been an uptick in the number of personal injury lawsuits filed by industrial workers who claim they received personal injuries through working in loud, mostly industrial workplaces.

However, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled last week in favor of defendant Graphic Packing International Inc., the owner and operator of a paper mill, box and carton plant in West Monroe where plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit claim their hearing was damaged due to being subjected to hazardous industrial noises during their employment at the facility. While the 4th Judicial District Court in Ouachita Parish initially ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and granted them damages of $50,000 apiece, that ruling was later overturned on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a 5-2 ruling, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld the appeals court finding in favor of Graphic Packing International Inc. The majority decision noted that while the hearing loss may have occurred it was during the course and scope of the class members’ employment which should be regulated as an “occupational disease” under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act.

Read  more  . . . workplace hearing loss



HLAA-DC is pleased to present this program featuring Valerie Stafford-Malis, Business Development Manager at Alternative Communication Services (ACS) and member of the HLAA Board of Trustees. You may recall that this program was originally scheduled for early March, but had to be postponed due to snow.

When: Thursday, April 16th from 7:30-8:45 pm
Where: Gallaudet University
800 Florida Avenue Northeast,
Washington, DC 20002
I King Jordan Academic Center Building
Room: 1011


Further information is provided in the attachment.

DOWNLOAD - Workplace_Survival_Flyer


All are welcome!


Many thanks to Gallaudet University and to ACS for their support of this program.

Russell Misheloff
HLAA-DC Chapter
Washington, DC Area
Hearing Loss Association of America





July 07, 2014
Article Source

Reducing workplace noise is easier thanks to new resources developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). What’s the new offering, and how can your employees benefit?

The NIOSH Buy Quiet initiative encourages businesses to purchase or rent quieter machinery and tools to reduce occupational noise exposures. The intent is to help prevent work-related, noise-induced hearing loss.

With 22 million U.S. workers exposed to hazardous noise at work each year, noise-induced hearing loss is the most common work-related injury in the United States.

According to NIOSH, the Buy Quiet program can help decrease the risk of hearing loss at work, minimize the impact of noise on communities, and help companies comply with OSHA regulations. The resource, available at, includes a video, posters, and links to partner websites.

Read more . . .

OSHA’s Occupational Hearing Loss Standard: How to Check if Your Workplace is Too Noisy

From AMI Environmental, Aug 22, 2013 

What is OSHA‘s Occupational Noise Standard?

OSHA regulations stipulate that if “any employee’s exposure equals or exceeds an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels, the employer shall develop and implement a noise monitoring program.”

What are some signs that your workplace has hazardous noise?

• If at work, you have to raise your voice for someone standing an arm’s length or less away to hear you.

• There is a ringing in your ears after you leave work.

• You have temporary hearing loss upon leaving work.

How can you test if the noise level at your workplace reaches dangerous levels?

You can’t be sure whether you’re being protected from hazardous noise or meeting OSHA regulations without completing an audiometric test. But you can compare your noise exposure levels at work to these everyday noises to get a vague idea of your risk level 

• 80 dB – Dial tone of a phone

• 85 dB – City traffic from inside a car

• 90 dB – Truck traffic or a train while at 500 ft

• 95 dB – Subway train at 200 ft

• 100 dB – Snowmobile or Motorcycle

• 107 dB – Power mower

While these comparisons can give you can vague idea of whether or not your workplace complies with OSHA standards, it is important to get a formal test done to make sure you and your employees are protected.

Why is compliance with OSHA’s Noise regulations so important?

As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that sure workers are protected from occupational hearing loss. OSHA is a real stickler about monitoring occupational noise because it is such a prevalent occupational hazard.

It is also important to note that even though most states do not have compensation laws for hearing loss at the workplace, compensation is commonly being awarded to people who have suffered occupational hearing loss. You can protect your business from regulatory and financial consequences by testing your workplace and implementing a Hearing Conservation Program.

Please contact AMI Environmental if you want to protect your employees from noise or if you have any questions about OSHA’s Occupational Noise Standards.

Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC.  This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.