If your hearing was damaged at work, you may be entitled to compensation
If you’re suffering from hearing loss you might be wondering if that constant, high level of noise at work has led to your condition. If you think that might be the case, you may be entitled to industrial deafness compensation.
Your employer has a duty to provide you with the correct safety training and protective equipment for your job. This includes protecting you from the risks associated with industrial deafness.
If your employer has failed to do this, and you think your hearing has suffered as a result, it’s worth finding out if you can make a claim for industrial deafness.
The 2005 Noise at Work Act requires all UK employers to prevent or reduce risks to health from exposure to noise at work.
Causes of industrial deafness
If your workplace consistently runs loud machinery or noise, your hearing might be suffering.
Being exposed to very loud music for long periods, for example, can lead to industrial deafness. It’s no surprise, then, that nightclub employees can be prone to this condition.
At between 95 to 120 decibels, the noise in a nightclub is similar to that given off by a pneumatic drill. That’s eight times more than the level requiring ear protection in industry. Employers are therefore expected to run a risk assessment and to provide earplugs or protective headsets if their staff work in a noisy environment like this.
Other occupations where workers are at risk of industrial deafness include factories and building sites where noisy machinery is regularly used.
Military services where workers are exposed to loud explosions can also pose an industrial deafness risk. Meanwhile, those working in transport are often regularly exposed to loud noise, for example from trains or planes.
If you’re employed in a noisy workplace such as these, your employer should have systems in place to protect your hearing. If they’ve failed to do so, and you’ve suffered hearing loss because of workplace noise, you may be eligible to receive compensation from them.
How much noise is too much?
The amount of noise that can lead to industrial deafness will vary from person to person. However, there are certain guidelines about how much noise, and the type of noise, that poses a danger to employees.
Generally speaking, if you have to raise your voice in order to speak to someone two metres away, then you are said to be at risk of developing some form of industrial deafness and precautions should be taken by your employer.
The risk of you suffering from the symptoms of industrial deafness will also depend on the length of time you’ve been exposed to loud noise.
If you’d like to find out more about claiming compensation for industrial deafness, call our friendly legal advisors for a free, no obligation chat on 0800 540 4258 .
Do you have the symptoms of industrial deafness?
If you’re suffering from industrial deafness, you may be experiencing one or more of these symptoms:
- Tinnitus – an intermittent or continuous ringing, buzzing or humming in the ears. Tinnitus can be caused by long-term exposure to noise in the workplace or other environments.
- Acoustic trauma – This means physical damage to the ear, such as a perforated eardrum. This injury is usually seen after a quick but highly intense noise exposure. Acoustic trauma is a form of industrial deafness often seen in military servicemen who have been within close range of a large explosion.
- Trouble hearing – Including temporary loss of hearing, muffled hearing and trouble hearing high pitched noises.
- Permanent deafness – This usually occurs after long periods of exposure to excessive noise.
It’s a common misconception that industrial deafness only affects the elderly. Young people are just as likely to suffer from tinnitus and the other symptoms of industrial deafness. Anyone who’s regularly exposed to loud noise should take precautions, for example by using ear protection.
How much compensation will I be awarded for my hearing loss?
If you’re suffering from industrial deafness, and your hearing loss could have been prevented by your employer, you may be able to claim compensation.
The amount of compensation you’re likely to be awarded for an industrial deafness claim, like any work accident claim, will vary depending on a number of factors. Your solicitor will look at the extent of your hearing loss and the amount of earnings you’ve lost as a direct result of the deafness when they’re deciding how much you’re eligible to receive.
If you think you could be eligible to make an industrial deafness claim, give our experienced team a call on 0800 540 4258 or request a callback using one of our forms.