If you have ever worked in a noisy environment and are now suffering from industrial deafness or hearing problems you may be entitled to compensation.
Sometimes hearing loss comes on very gradually and also the aging process pays a part but if your working history does include spells of employment in noisy conditions, there are prospects for making a claim.
Whilst you may be forgiven for thinking that the noise levels have to be very high, in fact if you have worked in areas where you had to struggle to hear your colleagues there is a chance that the noise levels were over the prescribed limits.
The link between noise and deafness has been know for over 100 years but it is generally accepted that the date when employers should have been aware of the dangers and taking action to reduce noise levels, dates in the majority of cases back to 1963. In effect this means that if your noisy employment predates 1963 then you will struggle to make a claim, but in reality, most people who are suffering from this condition will have most if not all of their employment either after or substantially after this date.
So what are the common workplaces where iIndustrial deafness could have occurred or indeed where it might still be occurring?
Heavy manufacturing areas are an obvious culprit but the road worker or the nightclub worker or even a farm worker can be affected. Thousands of people who have worked in the mining or shipbuilding industries have made claims in the past but it estimated that well over 200000 people are presently suffering and over a million are presently at risk of developing hearing loss as a result of exposure to excessive noise.
However,whilst workplaces these days are much quieter and more employers are aware of the risks, it is still possible to claim for your previous working history, if you can show that the noise levels were high and you were not adequately protected.
The symptoms of industrial deafness or noise induced deafness can include a gradually awareness of hearing difficulty and or ringing noises in the ear. Temporary hearing loss can occur with exposure to noise over a matter of hours and can include muffling of sound. This type will recover if exposure is then minimised. However permanent hearing loss can result from prolonged exposure to excessive noise levels. This is because the fine hairs within the inner ear are damaged and over time, the ability to hear is affected. Difficulty in hearing other people is often the first sign, but often it is the partner complaining about the loudness of the TV that draws the sufferer’s attention to the problem. Tinnitus, that ringing or buzzing in the ears can be temporary or permanent and is particularly obvious in quieter environments.
How do you know whether you are suffering from industrial deafness or noise induced deafness?
If you think that you have industrial deafness and you have worked in a noisy environment at some time in your life, you should visit your GP who will arrange an audiogram. Noise induced deafness is relatively easy to diagnose from the shape of the audiogram. It is a painless non invasive procedure.
What you should do if you are suffering from industrial deafness or noise induced deafness.
If you have had a diagnosis of industrial deafness, you should seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. There are time limits for bringing these sorts of claims in that the claim has to be pursued within 3 years of associating your deafness to your employment and whilst it is arguable that that date commences with the audiogram, it is open to the employers to suggest otherwise and you do need prompt specialist legal advice to ensure that you are able to get compensation.
For a free assessment of your industrial deafness claim, contact us now on the freephone number below or request a call back at a time to suit you by filling in the contact form to the right.
Call us now on 0800 567 7866