Maybe you dreamed about cruising the oceans of the world with nothing but the sound of the wind and the waves. If you embarked on a maritime career, you will soon have realized the reality is very different.
Most boats are incredibly noisy, and you may struggle to hear much at all after years spent working aboard. You could lose your hearing through a one-off event such as an engine room explosion. Yet, it is more likely you lose it over time.
Hearing loss comes down to loudness and length of exposure
Have you ever been to a rock concert? Perhaps your ears rang for hours afterward, yet by the next day, you could hear as normal. While the noise was loud, you only exposed your ears to it for a couple of hours. The roadies that experience it night after night is in a different situation. They are much more likely to suffer hearing loss than a one-time concert goer because they expose their ears to loud noise for longer.
It can be hard to escape noise on a ship
If you work in the engine room, you likely spend hours each day experiencing dangerous levels of noise. If you work on a helicopter deck or work with winches, the noise levels are likely less constant, yet day after day, it can still take its toll on your hearing.
Employers must provide you with high-quality ear protection and do what they can to isolate extreme noise. Yet there are limits to what they can do because ships are inherently noisy.
If you have suffered hearing loss due to working at sea, you may be able to file for compensation. Getting legal help to understand how will not repair your hearing but can help you with some of the associated costs this brings.