What is industrial deafness?
Industrial deafness is hearing loss that has occurred as a result of being exposed to noise at work over a long period of time. This often goes unnoticed, as many people will think that their hearing loss is due to ageing.
Careers susceptible to industrial deafness
If you work or have worked in any of the following industries, you are most susceptible to industrial deafness and hearing loss:
- Car manufacturing
- Road drilling
- Machinery operation
- Leisure (especially pubs & clubs)
- Transport agencies
- Call centres
This is usually identifiable by buzzing or ringing in your ears. Whilst many people don’t notice this because of background noise, if you experience buzzing or ringing when you are in a quiet room or if you cover your ears, it’s likely that you have tinnitus
Types of industrial deafness:
Acoustic shock/acoustic trauma
This is usually where you have been exposed to an extremely loud noise, for example a gunshot or explosion. Increasingly, acoustic shock cases are now involving call centre workers whose headphones mean that there is no escape from people shouting straight into their ears; which causes them to suffer from temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Temporary hearing loss
This usually occurs if you have been exposed to a loud, constant noise over several hours, causing you to hear things in a muffled way. It is usually reversible, but not if you continue to be exposed to the noise(s) again and again.
Permanent hearing loss
This usually occurs if you have been exposed to constant, high levels of noise over several years.
Do you have industrial deafness and/or Tinnitus?
If you can relate to any of the below symptoms you should request a hearing test from your GP or at a local hearing centre as soon as possible, to find out what extent of hearing loss you have suffered:
- Not being able to keep track of conversations
- Finding that people think you are ignoring them, when really you just didn’t hear them speak
- Not being able to hear others speaking when there is background noise (i.e. when the television is on)
- Needing to have the television/radio turned up louder than you would have before
- Not being able to hear the telephone ring
- Noticing that you can hear deeper voices better than higher voices and vice versa
- Spaces of time where you have complete loss of hearing
- Noticing difficulty in hearing in either one or both of your ears
- Ringing in your ears
How to claim for industrial deafness/tinnitus
When claiming for industrial deafness, we can help you to understand whether your deafness and hearing loss is work related or not. From there, we will help you every step of the way with a claim, which will be run on a No Win No Fee basis.
Are you likely to have a claim for industrial deafness?
- A successful claim must have each of the following factors:
- A medical expert must have confirmed that you are suffering from industrial deafness or tinnitus
- Your claim must be able to show that your hearing loss/deafness has been caused by exposure to one or more specific noise source, which is supported by witness statements and documentation from your current or past employer.
- Your claim must show that whilst you were employed in the role that exposed you to the harmful noise source(s), your employer should have recognised that you were susceptible to suffering noise induced hearing loss and didn’t do anything to prevent this.
Compensation amounts for industrial deafness
- Mild tinnitus or hearing loss usually carries a claim amount of between £3-7,000
- Moderate tinnitus or hearing loss usually carries a claim amount of between £7-10,000
- Severe tinnitus or hearing loss usually carries a claim amount of between £10-20,000
Surprising circumstances where you can still claim:
- If you are retired
- If your employer has since gone out of business
- If multiple employers are to blame
Expert industrial deafness lawyers
For more advice on whether you are likely to have an industrial deafness claim, or to talk through the process of claiming contact one of our expert personal injury lawyers at your local Bray & Bray office, today:
Leicester call us on 0116 254 8871.
Hinckley call us on 01455 639 900.
Market Harborough call us on 01858 467 181.