The thought of losing your hearing is daunting to say the least, but did you know the most common cause of hearing loss is industrial deafness? According to the Health and Safety Executive, there are around 20,000 people suffering from noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) in the UK (2007-16).
The damage caused is often irreversible, but with our help, you could make a hearing loss claim.
What is industrial deafness?
It’s where hearing is impaired or lost completely through working in heavy industry without any form of protective headgear to wear. Causes of workplace hearing loss include:
- Constant noise in factories or recycling facilities
- Heavy machinery operation
- Car manufacturing
- High speed drilling, such as road drilling and highway maintenance
- Explosions or sudden loud noises, as heard in engineering, steel and construction industries
- Textile industries
- Military and armed forces.
Industrial hearing loss can happen over lengthy periods of time and can include muffled noise, such as conversation, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and changes in ear pressure.
Prolonged or sudden exposure to very loud noise can cause acoustic shock and extensive damage to hearing. Your workplace has a legal duty to protect you from industrial illness, so if your hearing loss is a result of the job that you perform, then you may be able to claim compensation.
Who can I claim against?
In just about every case, the employer is at fault for industrial deafness. It is their duty to ensure all workers are protected from illness and injury and should provide them with ear defenders or something similar to help cancel out any intrusive noise.
Why should I make a claim?
If you, or a loved one, has suffered a loss of hearing because of someone else's negligence, you have a right to claim against them. As well as the physical and psychological impact of your hearing loss, you will have some life adjustments to make. There are also medical and financial aspects to consider.
A hearing loss claim will take into account any changes you need to make in your work life, including loss of income and any costs of retraining and learning new skills.
A compensation settlement will also highlight the problem to your employers, if industrial deafness is the cause. You can help ensure changes are made to safeguard other employees, and even if the company is no longer in business, you can still pursue a claim against them.
Because the causes of hearing loss can vary greatly, compensation for hearing loss is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Claims give consideration to:
- The extent to which the noise contributed to your hearing loss
- Level of exposure
- Time taken off work
- Loss of income and future earnings
- Any long-term effects on your everyday life
- Adaptations and equipment that may be required to improve your quality of life.
Amounts will very much depend on your individual case but generally, occasional to moderate tinnitus can be awarded £6,450 to £13,080. Total loss of hearing can receive compensation up to £96,150.
How long do I have to make a claim?
A claim must be brought within three years of:
- The date of the noise exposure incident that caused the hearing loss
- The date you discovered the hearing loss was due to noise exposure (the 'date of knowledge' - such as a medical diagnosis).
Our specialist advisors can explain the process to you in more detail, with no legal jargon or pressure.
I’ve been a victim of industrial deafness… What should I do?
If you’re suffering from industrial deafness, it could be possible to make a compensation claim. You can start by:
- Requesting a call-back at the top of the screen or filling in our online claim form
- One of our solicitors will then give you a ring at a convenient time to talk through your claim
- Following the call, the solicitor will send a letter on your behalf to your employer, asking them to accept or reject the claim
- If they accept, compensation will be agreed promptly, while in the event of rejection, your solicitor will find another way to help
How long it’ll take for the claim to resolve often depends on the severity and complexity of the case. But if you make a claim on a No Win, No Fee basis, you can rest assured you won’t be charged a penny.