Despite the fact that there has been a decrease in employment levels in high-risk industries where long or frequent exposure to harmful environments are mandatory, some insurers reported record highs between 2011 and 2012.
Industrial deafness claims in the workplace are reported to have increased by 50 per cent and it is a number which is steadily growing. But why is there this sudden influx in deafness work accidents and claims? Is it a case of employer neglect or an increase in fraudulent claims from workers?
In 2012, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics reported that around one million workers in Great Britain were working in industries where they were exposed to levels of noise that exceeded 85 decibels.
Control of Noise regulations requires all employers in high risk industries, where workers are exposed to high levels of noise, to provide adequate protection. However, claims regarding accidents at work are still rising.
What is industrial deafness?
Industrial deafness occurs when your hearing is impaired or damaged as a result of your working environment. This could be due to inadequate protective gear given by your employer or frequent exposure to damaging noise levels. Work accidents of this nature are more commonly claimed in areas of a high risk industrial nature such as steel works and factory settings where machinery is used.
What are the symptoms of industrial deafness?
There are four main types of medically defined industrial deafness;
- Temporary loss of hearing
- Permanent loss of hearing
- Acoustic trauma
Your GP will be able to diagnose which type of industrial deafness they believe you to be suffering from and can provide you with relevant treatments.
Some of the symptoms of industrial deafness include:
- Impaired hearing in one or both ears
- Being unable to hear parts of or full conversations
- Finding it difficult to hear speech when there is background noise such as music
- Increasing the volume on TV or radio in order to hear
- Permanent or temporary loss of hearing
- If you suffer from a constant hissing, ringing, roaring or buzzing sound in your ear(s) this may be a sign of Tinnitus (to be diagnosed by a GP).
What should I do if I think I may be suffering from industrial deafness?
Before you even consider applying for a work accident claim or compensation, you must visit your GP to get a diagnosis and see if you can receive any treatment. Any medical records or sick notes can help with your claim should you decided to proceed with compensation and is very important in aiding your recovery.
For further information or to process a claim use our claims form or contact one of our expert advisors.