Industrial deafness or occupational deafness is noise induced hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noise usually in a workplace environment. The most usual cause of industrial deafness is unprotected long term exposure to unacceptable levels of noise in an industrial situation however there are occasions where short exposure to very high levels of noise or exposure occurring in a single incident can cause significant loss of hearing. Industrial deafness is usually irreversible and cannot be treated. The risk of exposure to high levels of noise has been well known for over a century and there is little excuse for an employer who causes workers to be exposed to damaging levels of noise without the provision of adequate ear protection. If you have suffered from occupational hearing loss it may be to your advantage to speak to an industrial deafness solicitor as soon as possible.
If you have suffered prolonged exposure to high levels of noise, an industrial deafness solicitor may be able to recover damages on your behalf using the no win no fee scheme. If you would like to discuss your potential occupational deafness compensation claim with a specialist personal injury solicitor just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices. An industrial deafness solicitor will take a detailed statement from you over the phone and will advise there and then on the likely chance of success of legal action and will estimate the amount of compensation that you are likely to receive. Our advice is given without charge and without any further obligation. Do yourself justice and give us a call today.
Workers at special risk of hearing damage are usually those in heavy productive industry, such as drilling and quarrying, metal work, stone cutting or the use of noisy machinery including printing, wood cutting, transportation and agriculture.
Very high levels of noise may cause damage after relatively short periods, even when the noise is intermittent. The first symptom of noise-induced hearing loss is usually difficulty hearing a conversation against a noisy background. Often there is an intermittent high-pitched ringing in the ears.
The regulations require that the employer is under a duty to reduce the risk of noise damage to the lowest level reasonably practicable by muffling the noise or reducing the period of time spent in a noisy environment. If a worker suffers hearing loss as a result of the employer failing to take reasonable precautions then the employee can make application for an industrial deafness claim settlement.
Where exposure to noise is likely to be between 85 dBA and 90 dBA hearing protection should be provided if requested by the employee. The employer must provide employees with hearing protection where exposure is likely to be greater than 90dBA, whether or not a request has been made. Areas exceeding 90dBA must be identified and marked as ear protection zones and as areas in which ear protection must be worn. Employers are under a duty to ensure that ear protection is worn in these areas even when faced by a refusal from an employee. If an employer is not vigilant in enforcing the regulations and an employee suffers hearing loss, due to their own neglect to wear ear protection, then that employee can still make an application for an industrial deafness claim settlement.
Employers should undertake an assessment of noise exposure and ensure that employees have tools and equipment which generate a lower level of noise, segregation and insulation and personal protection such as ear muffs and ear plugs.
Deafness may be caused by factors other than exposure to noise in the workplace. A lawyer can arrange for you to have a medico-legal assessment to determine the nature of your hearing loss and to establish whether or not a claim against an employer or previous employers will succeed.
If you have been diagnosed with occupational hearing loss at some time during the last three years an industrial deafness solicitor may be able to make an occupational deafness compensation claim on your behalf. It matters not that the exposure to noise may have occurred a very long time ago, what counts is the date that a final diagnosis was confirmed by a medical specialist. You have three years from the date of positive diagnosis of occupational hearing loss to either settle the claim or to issue legal proceedings in order to protect your right to receive industrial deafness compensation in due course. If you have recently received a positive diagnosis from an audiologist you should take urgent legal advice from an occupational deafness solicitor without delay. Just call our helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices for legal advice at no cost.LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here