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Sight, Sound & The WSIB

Part One: The Problem

In the twentieth century, for years and years during the peak of industrialism in North America, very little was done to prevent loss of hearing in factory or construction settings. In the same way that hockey players never wore helmets early in the NHL, this now seems extremely shocking to us. At Goodman Elbassiouni LLPĀ in the GTA, many of our clients work on bustling construction sights and in fast paced warehouse settings. In these types of environments, you definitely want to have on more than just a helmet. You’ll want to have on work gloves, safety goggle, and, depending on the level of noise pollution you’re dealing with, ear protection as well.

When you think of workplace related injuries, you might think of something dramatic, such as an arm getting caught in machinery or something heavy falling on you. So much of what we see, however, is much subtler than that. Many of the folks who worked in construction and mining before there was a movement to provide eye and ear protection suffer from gradual loss of hearing and (to a lesser extent) a diminished ability to see properly.

Although the hearing conservation effort in many loud workplaces has increased over the years, there is still a sort of macho, hubristic pride that causes workers to spurn these safety precautions. Toronto’s foremost workers compensation lawyers are obliged to come to the aid of workers who’ve lost sight or hearing as a result of the workplace environment, however, we also urge everyone in the workforce to do what they can to minimize the likelihood of these gradual injuries that reduce your quality of life.

If you’re working next to a jack hammer all day, or mining nickel in Sudbury, use your common sense: the loud noise and the flying debris will eventually have a negative impact on your senses, and while young people may take the view that they’ll bounce back, a lot of these negative impacts present themselves over time. The last thing you want in your retirement is to not be able to drive a car (because you’re legally blind), or listen to music (because you’re virtually deaf).

Part Two: The Solution

The good news is that the WSIB recently revised its policy to provide hearing aids and the requisite parts needed to power and maintain them to Ontario workers who have suffered hearing loss in a workplace environment. This is extremely helpful, as it will allow those who are retired access to the best possible tools to help them hear so that they might live a normal life in their retirement years.

With eyesight damage, it is a bit trickier. The WSIB buys up standard hearing aid equipment for those who are hard of hearing, but if your eyesight is failing, you will need seeing glasses crafted specifically for you needs, or worse, eye surgery. If you’ve sustained an injury to your eyesight, or any other type of injury at work, you should contact a Toronto slip and fall lawyer immediately. The WSIB is there to help facilitate delivery of your compensation, but it doesn’t always work as it should; sometimes you need a little legal assistance to get you through. If you feel you have been treated unfairly by the system and want to appeal a decision, call us up today!


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