Compensation Awarded For Jack Hammer Hearing Loss

Jack Hammer
LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott
Case by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott

An AWH client has been awarded compensation, after he was diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss due to using jack hammers.

What was the case?

Our Claimant was employed in heavy manual labour would involve breaking out concrete bays, mostly using compressor/generators and jack hammers in 1989. He also did jobs for the Council and other companies as and when they were required where they would go in when the plants were shut down for two weeks due to the nature of the work.

One of his employers had a contract with Rowantree Mackintosh and he would deconstruct the Baileys room and he would also be breaking and cutting out concrete from an existing building that formed part of a loading bay and taking down fire retardant brick walls that were inside two boilers. He was also asked to carry out contracts that they had taken up on behalf of Calderdale Council which could involve, repairing properties but this was for short periods of time and as and when it was required. He would on occasion carry out roofing work, joinery work, laying footings and drains for water supply, along with building extensions for the Defendant.

What is Noise Induced Hearing Loss?

Noise -induced hearing loss is when the tiny hair cells in your ears (stereocilia) are permanently damaged as the result of loud sounds. Hazardous levels of noise produce vibrations in the hair cells that are so powerful that they are damaging.

Some of the symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss are:

  • It being harder to hear high-frequency sounds. This is easy to detect with a hearing test that can be charted on an audiogram. It will show a dip to the right – this is known as a noise-notch pattern.
  • It is harder to hear speech, especially words with ‘s’, ‘f’, ‘sh’ and ‘th’ sounds in them. You may have trouble understanding what people are saying, even if they raise their voice.
  • Pain in your ears following loud noise exposure.
  • Other people comment that you’re talking loudly or shouting.
  • You experience tinnitus – ringing, whoosing, roaring or buzzing sounds in your ears.
  • You may experience diplacusis, or ‘double hearing.’

How can noise induced hearing loss be avoided?

Generally, it is advised that you are not exposed to any sound above 85 decibels for a sustained period of time. Some jobs that have been identified as placing workers most at risk include:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction and Carpentry
  • The military
  • Mining and oil and gas extraction

In addition to the generalised symptoms, noise induced hearing loss can also led to:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Isolation due to struggling to hear others
  • Depression due to hearing loss
  • Increased heart rate

Read more on our industrial hearing loss claims page

If you have suffered from something similar to the issues mentioned in this case study, then our specialist solicitors can help you to get the help and compensation that you need.

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