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Work Hearing Loss Claim

UK Work Hearing Loss Injury

Research conducted for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the 2008/9 Labour Force Survey discovered that an estimated 17,000 individuals believed their hearing loss problems were the most serious of their work related illnesses. As a result of the survey, the HSE estimate that over a million workers in the UK are at risk from work hearing loss, and are reminding employers of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005) which limit the exposure to noise in the workplace.

Work hearing loss in the UK takes many forms, from tinnitus to temporary hearing loss (which gets worse over time,) to perforated eardrums as the result of a sudden acoustic shock. Furthermore, excessive noise can be a safety hazard when it interferes with communications and makes directions or warnings difficult to hear. Once noise levels approach 80 decibels (dBs), steps have to be taken to protect an employee´s hearing

Qualifying for a Work Hearing Loss Claim

With the introduction of the Factories Act of 1963, and more recently the Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005), stricter controls were placed on the level of noise in the work environment, more limits were imposed on the length of time an employee should be exposed to excessive noise and, where high levels of noise cannot be avoided, suitable protection should be provided — but only as a temporary measure.

An employer has total responsibility for ensuring that the measures in these regulations are implemented to prevent the risk of work hearing loss. Employers also have to train employees and their supervisors about how and when they should work in a noisy environment, and advise them of the risks they are taking by doing so. Where noise levels above 80dBs cannot be avoided, an employer should also provide medical audiology tests. If one of these audiology tests (or one conducted by your own GP) leads to a diagnosis of hearing loss, you are entitled to make a work hearing loss claim.

Before Making a Work Hearing Loss Claim

Irrespective of the source of the diagnosis, a report of your work hearing loss should be made in your employer´s “Accident Report Book”. This report should also be forwarded to the HSE in order that they conduct an investigation into the health and safety practices implemented by your employer. The result of their investigation will support your work hearing loss claim, and you should also give a copy of the entry in the “Accident Report Book” to your solicitor.

Other measures you should take before a work hearing loss claim is filed include:-

  • Speak with your Colleagues — Some of your workmates may also have sustained a work hearing loss injury, and they should be able to act as witnesses if your claim for work hearing loss ever comes to court. In most cases, your colleague´s evidence will help your solicitor to build a sufficiently strong case which will eliminate the need of a court appearance.
  • Compile a History of your Injury — You should write down everything you can remember about the circumstances of your work hearing loss injury. Your notes should include what information you were given about the risks of a work hearing loss injury, what training you were given to prevent the risks and the standard of the personal protective equipment you were provided with.
  • Consult with a Solicitor — If you have disregarded health and safety policies put in place to protect your hearing this may not disqualify you from making a work hearing loss claim. However, any counter-claims of contributory negligence made by your employer may affect how much you receive for your hearing loss claim. It is best that you advise your solicitor of this potential scenario at an early stage.

Free Work Hearing Loss Claim Advice

One of the first things you should do after being diagnosed with a hearing injury is to discuss with a solicitor whether you have a claim for work hearing loss which is worth your while to pursue. In order to make this as easy as possible, we have set up a free work injury claims advice service which you are invited to call. Our service enables you (or a loved one if your hearing loss is a permanent condition) to speak directly with an experienced solicitor and to receive some impartial and practical advice in complete confidentiality

Lines to our free work injury claims advice service are open from 8.00am to 10.00pm, seven days a week, or you can take advantage of our free call-back service by completing your contact details in the box at the side of the page. Please note that there is no cost to you for using this service or obligation on you to proceed with a claim for work hearing loss once you have spoken with us.