It’s a fact that as many as 1 in 5 people working in UK industry have some kind of hearing impairment caused by their environment. Usually this is often defined as ‘acoustic trauma’ where a person is exposed to loud noise and bangs over a long period of time.
The worrying thing is that it’s estimated work-related hearing problems can affect over a million in the future, in a more sustained sense, than just temporary aural impediment. Noise-induced hearing loss can cause things ranging from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) to severe deafness by being in a very noisy workplace over many years.
Industrial deafness in the workplace claim
Working in very loud environments workers can develop acute hearing problems. An industrial deafness in the workplace claim can be brought against your employer through Accident Advice Helpline. They could be a past boss or a current one.
Accident Advice Helpline has a team of industrial injury accident solicitors on its books among a UK-wide network of lawyers, who will be at your service when you lodge a claim with us. It costs you nothing to start the process, simply by calling the freephone number on 0800 689 0500. Our lines are open 7 days a week, all day, and one of our friendly advisers will help you make your first step in making an industrial deafness in the workplace claim by asking a few simple questions.
We will need to know that you have received basic medical diagnosis and treatment for your hearing problems, the impairment was not of your own doing and, usually, that it has happened within the last three years. Now, it’s often the case that the hearing injury may have occurred before then. In such circumstances, the pursuant of an industrial deafness claim must confirm with a medic that the problem was diagnosed within the three years preceding the claim.
Industrial deafness is broadly defined in two aspects – temporary hearing loss and permanent. With temporary loss of hearing, an ENT consultant would describe this as a ‘temporary threshold shift.’ This means your normal hearing goes after many hours of being exposed to workplace noise above 75dB. The hearing loss happens within the first few hours of exposure but does not get any worse. The sufferer experiences dull or muffled sounds for most of the day (about 15 hours) but where continued exposure to noise takes place, permanent hearing loss can develop. This is when the hearing is irreversibly damaged and it comes about gradually, usually about 10 years, but ends in a ‘permanent threshold shift.’
The effects of permanent hearing loss include:
- Sensitive hair cells within the inner ear destroyed and not replaced so some sound frequencies just cannot be heard.
- Not being able to hear what someone is saying to you is usually the first sign that permanent hearing loss is taking place.
By the time one of the above have been experienced, irreversible damage to hearing may have taken place.
Other classifications of hearing loss caused by loud noise in the work environment are acoustic trauma, where a person is exposed to one or several loud bands such as gunfire or quarry explosion, without ear protection. This could lead a very serious hearing condition – a perforated eardrum. Tinnitus is a common hearing impediment associated with ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or roaring sounds in one or even both ears. Tinnitus usually lasts for a short time, but ongoing problems do happen. An Accident Advice Helpline solicitor handling your industrial deafness claim will be able to advise you in detail about compensation from these hearing injuries.
Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and at work on your behalf at no outlay to yourself, the legal team in your case will always try and secure the best possible award for hearing injury and the reimbursement of lost finances as a result of, say, not being able to work or enjoy simple pleasures like listening to the radio or music. To discuss your claim with a member of our expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.