The number of workers affected by industrial deafness is falling year on year thanks to health and safety measures. That being said, there are still hundreds of people who suffer from impaired hearing as a result of accidents at work or work-related illness.
If you suffer from hearing loss, you may wish to consider claiming personal injury compensation.
Industrial deafness: Who is affected?
According to figures from the Labour Force Survey, the number of people claiming for industrial hearing loss has fallen over the last four years. In 2013, there were 120 new claims, compared to 150 in 2011.
Any job that involves frequent or prolonged exposure to loud noises can increase the risk of hearing loss; this may include working in construction or building, engineering, manufacturing, music production, events.
In 2005, new measures were introduced to protect employees at work and reduce the risk of workplace injuries and work-related illnesses. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 state that employers must take steps to lower the risk of hearing problems and industrial deafness by carrying out the following responsibilities:
- performing regular risk assessment and responding to issues quickly
- providing staff members with ear defenders
- complying with legal noise limits
- ensuring that employees have the relevant training
Noise action levels in the workplace
The level of noise is calculated using decibels and employers are required to comply with an acceptable noise action level in order to ensure that employees are able to perform work-related tasks without risking their health. The noise action levels stipulated by the 2005 guidelines are as follows:
- average daily or weekly exposure: 87 decibels
- peak sound pressure: 140 decibels
Can I claim for industrial deafness?
- note down details about times, locations and dates when you were exposed to high levels of noise
- record information about the working environment
- ask colleagues for witness statements and evidence to support your version of events
- seek medical advice; the report submitted by a trained medical professional can be used as evidence to support your claim
In order to make a successful work injury claim, you must be able to prove that your employer was negligent, so it’s a good idea to document as much information as possible, then give us a call on our Freephone helpline, 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice