Industrial Deafness Claims for Hearing Loss
If you have been exposed to a high level of noise at work which has caused you to suffer from irreversible damage, you may be entitled to industrial hearing loss compensation.
At AWH Solicitors our legal industrial disease and hearing loss specialists will be here for you throughout the process to help you receive the compensation that you deserve.
In a straight forward and transparent manner we will fully inform you of your rights, potential costs and likely outcome to your case, helping you move on with your life.
Claiming Compensation for Hearing Loss with AWH Solicitors
When calculating your hearing loss claim, the extent of your damage, the medical treatment needed and the impact it has had on your overall wellbeing and financial situation will be taken into consideration.
AWH Solicitors will work hard to secure you the very best pay-out, helping you get full compensation for the suffering that your hearing loss has caused.
Types of Hearing Loss
Noise induced hearing lossA type of permanent hearing loss that can occur years after exposure, caused by exposure to excessive noise for prolonged periods of time.
TinnitusRinging, buzzing and whistling sounds are apparent in one or both ears.
Acoustic shock syndromeReparable or irreparable damage to the ears caused by an isolated incident involving loud noise.
Health and Safety Regulations Protecting Workers
Under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, businesses are required to protect the health and safety of all of its employees by managing noise levels in the workplace.
If your employer has failed to create a safe working environment, which in turn has caused you to develop a hearing problem, you may be able to hold them responsible for the damage.
What is industrial deafness?
Industrial deafness and noise induced hearing loss are typically caused by repeated noise exposure to a work environment.
If you are employed in a loud environment or work in close proximity to noisy machinery or equipment, this may have led to your hearing damage.
Employees who suffer from noise induced hearing loss, whose employers have not implemented adequate policies and procedures to reduce or control any related hazards, can look to claim compensation for any damage caused.
What is noise induced hearing loss?
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) also known as 'Industrial Hearing Loss', is a work-related condition that is common in industries where excessive noise is prevalent.
The condition is acquired through exposure to excessive noise levels which damages the cells inside the inner ear leading to ringing, buzzing or muffling.
It's symptoms often appears years, if not decades after the original exposure. This means that in many cases people do not realise their hearing loss has been caused by their work.
What has caused my noise induced hearing loss?
People that have worked in noisy environments such as in factories and construction sites are more likely to have been exposed to excessive levels of noise and are therefore more susceptible to this type of hearing damage.
Different people will be affected by loud noise at different levels. The noise levels at your work may have caused you severe hearing loss, while others who have been working in the same environment still enjoy 100 percent hearing.
Everyone is different, so don't assume your hearing loss wasn't caused at work based on the fact that some of your colleagues may not be experiencing the same symptoms as you.
Examples of noisy industries include:
- Car manufacturing
- Road drilling
- Machinery operation
What is acoustic shock?
Acoustic shock is a condition that is caused by an extremely loud noise known as the acoustic incident.
The suddenness and volume of certain noises can be very traumatic to our hearing and it can cause people to experience a number of symptoms.
Hearing loss is not a condition that should be taken lightly, as symptoms can be severe and permanently impacting on a person's life. Hearing loss may in some cases even lead to mental health issues.
How do I get acoustic shock?
Acoustic shock can be caused by feedback oscillation, fax tones and signalling tones. It most commonly occurs in call centres where staff use headsets.
Using headsets all day increases the likelihood of someone being exposed to a loud and unexpected noise.
Many modern call centre headsets are now developed to restrict high levels of sound that are transmitted down the phone. However, in some cases acoustic shock can still occur, and not all call centres use this technology.
Medical assessment for acoustic shock
We always advise speaking with your GP or a hearing loss specialist first. They can provide you with a hearing test and inform you of the level of hearing loss you have suffered.
If you already know that you are suffering from hearing loss and you do not wish to see your GP first, that is not a problem. Our solicitors can set up a medical assessment for you if this is required, subject to the acceptance of your case.
The team will gather evidence and work with specialists to make sure that you are awarded the right industrial hearing loss compensation, while making sure you have access to any medical care, rehabilitation and support that you require.
What should I do when I think I have occupational hearing loss?
Occupational hearing loss and other noise induced hearing loss symptoms will usually start off being temporary but can worsen over time and become permanent if ignored.
We therefore recommend that you tell your employer about your hearing issues as soon as you can with the aim to prevent any further hearing loss being caused to both yourself and your colleagues.
You should also visit your local medical practice for an official diagnosis and possible treatment to help stop or alleviate your hearing problems.
What are common noise induced hearing loss symptoms?
Noise induced hearing loss symptoms can be subtle and unnoticeable in the very beginning, but the damage can worsen and become permanent if left unchecked.
If you, a family member or friend complains about any of the following symptoms, there may be hearing damage involved:
- Your hearing is impaired for hours after being exposed to loud noise, but returns to normal after some time
- You are experiencing muffled hearing, you start to have trouble hearing a conversation or other sounds.
- Constant ringing or swishing when there is no actual sound
What is my employer's legal duty of care?
If you suspect that you have industrial deafness, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I been provided with protective hearing equipment when I was exposed to loud noise?
- Is our noisy equipment regularly checked and audited?
- Do I receive sufficient breaks away from the noisy environment?
- Does my employer provide me with regular health and hearing checks?
An employer has a legal duty to protect the health and safety of workers exposed to excessive levels of noise.
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the questions, your employer may not be doing enough to safeguard you from this occupational hazard, which may have caused your hearing to suffer.
What each employer should do
your employer should:
- Act to reduce noise exposure
- Provide protective equipment
- Ensure legal limits of noise exposure are not exceeded
- Monitor and maintain all equipment and machinery
- Provide health and safety information and training to all staff exposed to noisy environments
- Carry out health surveillance on employers at risk
If your employer has failed to adhere to their legal obligation, which has caused you to suffer from permanent or disabling hearing damage, our industrial deafness solicitors can help you achieve the maximum possible pay-out from the responsible organisation.
Am I entitled to pursue an industrial hearing loss compensation claim?
We recommend that you make your employer fully aware of the situation first, giving them an opportunity to right their wrongs and introduce additional measures to protect you from further harm.
If your employer fails to act following your discussion, you can choose to make an industrial deafness compensation claim against them.
How much industrial deafness compensation will I be awarded?
Every industrial hearing loss compensation claim is different.
That is why we can't give any clear estimates on how much you may be rewarded without understanding a bit more about your specific situation.
Each individual has their own personal circumstances and may suffer from varying levels of pain and suffering, so the pay-out you receive will depend entirely on your own situation.
The extent of your damage will factor into the equation, including whether you are suffering from total or temporary hearing loss, and if you are injured in one or both ears.
AWH Solicitors will always work hard to secure you the right level of industrial deafness compensation you deserve.
Contact us on 0844 414 0667 to let us know more about your situation and to find out more about pursuing a claim with us.
Can I make a claim for past noise exposure?
Industrial deafness and hearing loss can occur over time, so you may only develop a hearing impairment years, or even decades after your exposure to excessively loud noise levels.
In these circumstances, it is entirely possible to make a claim for compensation.
Our industrial disease solicitors will gain a full understanding of your past working conditions and employment history to establish the exact cause and ask you to attend a medical assessment to strengthen the link between your hearing impairment and your previous workplace.
If the organisation is no longer in business, we will track down their insurance company so that you can still receive compensation for the financial and medical damage caused.
Time Limits for making Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claims
Employers have been made aware of the serious effects excessive noise levels have on their employees’ hearing since 1963. So if you are suffering from hearing loss after being exposed to excessive noise since then, you may still have a claim.
If your exposure to noise at work was some time ago, don’t worry.
Our solicitors will be able to analyse your specific situation and assess if you can still claim compensation for your hearing loss.
Assessing if you Suffer from Hearing Loss
We have generated a list of common questions we use to identify your symptoms below:
- Do your family complain that you talk loudly?
- Do you have the television on at its full volume?
- Do you have trouble hearing the telephone when it rings?
- Do you have problems hearing other people speak because of background noises?
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, it is likely that you do have an issue with your hearing.
If you have not already done so, you may want to get in contact with your GP to diagnose the noise damage or speak to our solicitors to find out about more about the claims process.
Take the Next Step with AWH Solicitors
Unsure about how to proceed?
Get in contact with AWH Solicitors today on 0844 414 0667, or request a call back for a time that suits you best.
With a thorough understanding of safety regulations, we can help you decipher whether you have a claim for compensation.
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