Industrial Deafness Compensation Claims Lawyers
Many different jobs expose workers to loud noises for prolonged periods of time. With the right protective equipment, hearing can be safeguarded and remain intact.
Employers have a legal duty to provide workers in loud environments with such protective equipment, but sadly many of them do not live up to this obligation.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors can help you make a claim if your hearing has been lost or damaged as a result of your working environment.
We are a leading work accident claims law firm in Manchester. We help people who suffer injuries at work to claim compensation they rightly deserve.
We have a high degree of expertise surrounding workplace health and safety regulation that makes us perfectly placed to answer any questions you may have about what has happened to you.
If you are unsure whether you have grounds to make a claim for an injury you believe was caused by exposure to loud noise at work, talk to one of our solicitors today.
What is Industrial Deafness?
When a worker suffers from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) because of the exposure to loud noises at work, they may suffer from Industrial Deafness, or Occupational Deafness.
Because the condition may be caused by the long-term exposure to sounds, it can be difficult to diagnose effectively, and prove a direct link to the patient’s workplace.
Industrial Deafness Claims can include a range of situation and hearing conditions, such as:
Temporary hearing loss
This can become evident within a few hours, with sound becoming muffled after being exposed to loud sounds over a few hours. Hearing should recover after spending time in a quiet area.
Permanent hearing loss
If someone is exposed to loud sounds for long periods of time, such as years in their workplace, they may suffer permanent noise-induced hearing loss. Treatment may be available in some cases, but many may need hearing aids or resorting to sign language.
Trauma of this type can be triggered by a loud, sudden sound such as a gunshot, explosion, or very loud shouting. The eardrum can be perforated by such events, often leading to some degree of permanent hearing loss.
Tinnitus is a continuous ringing or buzzing noise that is heard by people who have suffered long-term exposure to loud noises. It can lead to a number of problems, such as sleeplessness or concentration issues.
What are the symptoms of Industrial Deafness?
If your workplace features noisy or loud machinery, you may be at risk of Industrial Deafness. Some of the warning signs you can look out for before the condition is worsened, include:
- Being advised to use any type of hearing aids earlier than expected
- Having issues hearing conversations with background noise
- Using a higher volume on TVs and radios than normal
- Difficulty hearing noises such as telephones ringing or doorbells
Experiencing any of these situations may be a warning sign that you have been exposed to loud sounds for an extended period of time. Getting medical advice from a specialist is vital, and, if irreversible damage is found, you could be eligible to make Industrial Deafness Claims.
What environments could cause Industrial Deafness?
The Health & Safety Executive estimates that there are 18,000 people in the UK whose hearing has been damaged or made worse by their working environment.
High-risk work environments include:
- Building sites
- Factories and mills
- Oil refineries
- Pubs and nightclubs
Of course, there are many more jobs that expose employees to prolonged noise, and everyone is affected differently. We can quickly ascertain whether or not you have a claim.
What types of negligence can lead to Industrial Deafness?
Your employer has a duty of care to protect you from harm. This includes ensuring an appropriate volume of sounds in the workplace, or appropriate protection against them. Negligent behaviours by an employer that may lead to Industrial Deafness include failing to:
- Accurately monitor noise levels
- Provide appropriate ear protection when necessary
- Address concerns regarding noise levels
- Consider quieter alternatives for work equipment
- Properly warn workers of noise levels
- Install appropriate soundproofing solutions
Any breach of the duty of care of your employer that leads to injury may validate a work-related illness claim. Contact us today to find out if your employer has breached their duty of care, and start your Industrial Deafness Claim.
What volume of noise is considered excessive?
The volume of noises is measured on a scale called the decibel (dB) scale.
Ambient sound can hover around 40dB to 50dB, while very loud noises, such as heavy machinery, can reach up to 120dB. The decibel scale is not linear, so 100dB is not twice as loud as 50dB, but 32 times louder.
The general threshold for safe noise level is around 80dB, and even this volume can create hearing damage if exposed to it for long periods of time. If your workplace features machinery or any other tool or process creating sounds at or over 80dB, your hearing should be assessed and protected regularly.
Failure to provide proper hearing protection, or making reasonable efforts to reduce noise levels in the workplace, can lead to noise-induced hearing loss, and make you eligible to make an Industrial Deafness Claim.
Our Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Test Clinics
We run our own noise-induced hearing loss clinics. If you think your hearing has been damaged as a result of the work you do, or the work you did in a previous job, you can book an appointment with us and find out for sure.
We usually hold the test clinics in local hotels or other convenient venues, where you will be greeted in the foyer or reception area.
First, you’ll take a hearing test with a qualified audiologist, which will allow us to identify the extent of damage you’ve suffered to your hearing, and whether it has been caused or exacerbated by too much exposure to loud noises.
You will then sit down with one of our advisors, who will go through a simple questionnaire with you – they’ll ask you about your job history and what the noise levels were like in each of your previous working environments.
If the advisor concludes that you have grounds for a claim, they’ll pass you on to a solicitor in our specialist noise-induced hearing loss department.
Can I lose my job for making an Industrial Deafness Claim?
You may be worried about possible repercussions on your career if you’re planning to make a claim against your employer. Rest assured that the law protects you from any retaliation that can be traced back to a legitimate compensation claim.
Your employer is not only legally prevented from sacking you, but they also cannot treat you any differently, reduce your working hours, or exclude you from training on the basis of an injury claim for a work-related illness, such as an Industrial Deafness Claim. Any retaliation from your employer could make you eligible for an unfair or constructive dismissal claim.
Remember that any compensation you receive following a claim against your employer will come from their liability insurance, and not out of the business itself.
Contact Our Industrial Deafness Solicitors
We are passionate about helping clients to seek appropriate justice and recompense, and our track record speaks for itself.
Our experienced Industrial Deafness Compensation Solicitors act regularly for clients across Greater Manchester including Ashton, Bury, Bolton, Radcliffe, Prestwich, Middleton, Failsworth, Rochdale, Oldham, and Whitefield.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are a Lexcel accredited law firm. The Lexcel standard is only awarded by the Law Society to firms who meet the highest standards of practice management and customer service.
Call us for free now using the number at the top of the page or complete the online contact form and a member of our team will get back to you.