What is Industrial Deafness?
Industrial, or occupational deafness, is when a loss of hearing is sustained due to working in a noisy environment, possibly one where the employer hasn’t taken necessary measures to follow the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. If this is the case, the employer has failed to ensure that risks are eliminated or at least reduced by making adjustments to the workplace and providing workers with sufficient hearing protection.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, in the UK, over 2 million people are currently at risk of suffering industrial deafness due to intolerable noise levels in the workplace. Industrial deafness is also liable for roughly 75% of all occupational disease claims.
Occupational deafness can come about immediately, or it can take a while to develop. Sometimes with age, people notice that they can’t hear as well as they used to, or that they struggle in environments with consistent background noise. Many don’t even realise that they could be suffering from industrial hearing loss and may be able to make an industrial deafness claim. Whether temporary or permanent, it is one of the most debilitating industrial injuries for people to suffer.
People working in construction, engineering, factories or any other environments where consistent noise is generated can be susceptible to suffering industrial hearing loss, particularly by using or being around equipment such as electric saws, percussive tools, textile machinery or many others.
Some types of industrial deafness conditions include:
- Temporary or permanent loss of hearing.
- Tinnitus: this can be caused by a continuous exposure to loud noise. It involves a buzzing or ringing sound in the ear(s).
- Acoustic Shock Syndrome: also known as Acoustic Trauma, is experienced when the employer is exposed to a quick, loud noise without hearing protection. For example, an explosion, a gunshot or a loud sound in sectors such as the music industry. Many have been able to successfully claim for hearing loss due to a negligent employer, including those working in call centres or the police force.
For more information on the causes, symptoms and types of Hearing Loss, click here.
What are the different levels of Industrial Deafness?
To suffer occupational deafness does not necessarily mean losing your hearing completely. There are different levels of deafness that can be brought on by noisy work environments and all levels could be long-lasting and life-changing; some even incurring psychological effects, such as a lack of sleep or depression.
- Mild: this is the most common form of industrial deafness, where the person may struggle to follow what people are saying or finds it difficult to hear in places with background noise.
- Moderate: at this level, people may need to depend on a hearing aid.
- Severe: although using a hearing aid, people may need to rely additionally on lip-reading to understand what is being said.
- Profound: being the most serious form of occupational deafness, people will need to rely on lip-reading and sign language.
If you suffer from one of these levels of industrial deafness, then your employer may have breached their 'duty of care' to you and you could be entitled to making a claim for industrial hearing loss compensation.
With all the necessities and expenses that come with suffering this, industrial deafness compensation could help to ease any financial worries, by helping towards any treatment or hearing aids.
How do I make an Industrial Deafness claim?
In order to maximise your success in claiming for industrial hearing loss compensation, you should get advice from specialists and think about the following procedures…
- Get expert medical advice from a professional who can carry out an audiogram and confirm any deafness condition. Keep a copy of the medical report for evidence later on.
- You will need to prove that the industrial hearing loss was caused by your working environment. To do this, you will need to gather statements from colleagues and any other documents about the conditions within the workplace.
- You will need proof of your employer being negligent with regards to health and safety risk assessments, showing a lack of noise protection within the workplace.
An industrial deafness lawyer can help with obtaining this information.
Claims can differ in terms of time limits and amount of compensation, so get in touch with Accident Line Direct today to get expert advice on your industrial deafness claim.
Why choose Accident Line Direct to help with making my Industrial Deafness Claim?
Our expert team of advisors at Accident Line Direct are available to provide you with free advice on making a claim for industrial deafness and our No Win No Fee policy means that you are free of financial worry.
If you feel you may be suffering from occupational deafness due to an inefficient 'duty of care' from your employer, or you simply want to know more, contact us today.