Mechanical Fitter Wins Compensation for Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Apprentice Mechanic
LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott
Case by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott

AWH has won £18,000 for an Apprentice Mechanical Fitter, after he suffered from Noise Induced Hearing Loss.

Our client was exposed to noise from grinders, pneumatic drills and chisels, windy choppers, compressors, airlines, coal chisels and a drilling machine, along with being exposed to noise from the opening and closing of valves and pumps which were controlled by hydraulic hand tools. Around 1985, our client’s employer introduced hearing protection, but it was never made enforceable that employees had to wear it. Medical reports were obtained from the consultant, that supported that the claimant was suffering from Noise Induced Hearing Loss.

What is involved in an employer’s duty of care?

In any workplace, an employer has a legal duty of care towards their employees. This is described as them having to take reasonable care, and not expose them to any unnecessary risk. The common law duty is a personal, non-delegable duty and cannot be discharged by entrusting the safety of one employee to another or to an independent contractor. The standard of care is determined by requirements of reasonableness. It requires the employer to assess the potential risk of injury as against the harm that it would cause the employee, and the cost of putting safety precautions in place. The standard of care will vary depending on the circumstances of the case, but the greater the danger, the higher the degree of care that is expected from the employer. The employer does not have to provide a workplace that is absolutely safe but rather reduce any risks so far as is reasonable.

During the Case

This case was made slightly more challenging by the fact that the defendants argued that the client was out of time for claiming on Noise Induced Hearing Loss. Our specialist solicitor Umar Arshid tackled this issue by finding further evidence that in fact supported the idea that he was not out of time at all. Effectively, both parties sought to rely on the same evidence, but interpreted it differently which called for a strong argument to be put forward for our client. The defendant’s solicitor attempted to allude fundamental dishonesty, but our client stood his ground on his evidence, and we supported him and proceeded with his case. We were then able to provide a robust witness statement to support the Claimant’s position and had planned to attend trial. Ultimately, the matter was successfully settled a few days before the limitation trial.

AWH were pleased to be able to help our client get the compensation that he deserved, despite the efforts of the defendant to prove dishonesty. We supported our client throughout and ensured that the evidence was provided to support his claims. Upon settlement, our client said: ‘ I cannot thank Umar and his team enough, from start to finish they have been first class in handling my loss of hearing claim. They explained the whole process in layman’s terms and were always there for any questions I might have; they were so professional in everything they have done for me. Many thanks to you all.’

If you think that you have suffered in a similar situation, then we can help you.

Read more on our hearing loss claims page.

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