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Noise induced hearing loss

Noise induced hearing loss

SKU: 6.61
  • Advice

    Noise exposure can lead to hearing loss as well as other conditions such as tinnitus. Often by the time an employee is aware of the damage being done to their hearing by this noise, it is too late. 


    Early signs of hearing loss

    • It becomes more difficult to make out what people are saying in conversations;
    • Family or friends complain that the television or radio is too loud;
    • Trouble having telephone conversations; or
    • You struggle to make out words people are saying and often think they have said a similar-sounding word. 


    Examples of when you might be at risk of noise-induced hearing loss: 

    • Using tools such as a chainsaw or woodchipper;
    • Carrying out work such as forest harvesting or felling;
    • Where you are unable to have a conversation with someone 2 metres apart from you;
    • without raising your voice;
    • Using powered tools or machinery often;
    • Where the noise is invasive such as working in a crowded restaurant;
    • If the noise is due to impacts such as using a hammer or due to explosives such as using detonators; and
    • If you find that when you have finished work, you have issues hearing even if it is restored in a relatively short amount of time. (This is a sign of damage to your hearing and can eventually lead to a permanent hearing loss).



    Occupations where noise-induced hearing loss is most likely to occur: 

    • Construction, demolition or road works; 
    • Woodworking; 
    • Processing plastics; 
    • Engineering; 
    • Foundries; 
    • Canning or bottling;
    • Paper or board making; and
    • Textile manufacturing.



    Equipment that is most likely to cause noise-induced hearing loss: 

    • Hammering; 
    • Drop Forging; 
    • Pneumatic impact tools; and
    • Chainsaws.


    What an employer is required to do: 

    • Do their best to eliminate the noise or if that is not reasonably practicable reduce the noise to as low a level as possible;
    • Talk to workers or their union about any noise-related issues;
    • Send employees for regular hearing checks;
    • Issue hearing protection, along with warnings of the dangers of the noise and instructions on how to use the equipment; and
    • Carry out a risk assessment of the noise to the health and safety of his employees.

    A failure to do any of the above by an employer may allow an employee who suffered hearing damage due to their work environment to claim compensation from their employer. 


    What an employee should do to protect themselves from noise-induced hearing loss

    • Assist your employer with protecting your hearing by wearing the protection they provide and carrying out the work in the system they say. Then raising any concerns or issues you have with how either the system or the protection is working; 
    • Wear any hearing protection you are given and ensure you look after it to make sure it is doing what it is supposed to. Your employer should tell you how to look after and maintain the equipment provided; and
    • Tell your employer of any issues with the equipment whether you are concerned it is not working or that the equipment you have provided is starting to become less effective and it needs to be replaced. 


    Employers’ duty: 

    Under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 an employer who carries out work that is liable to expose an employee to a noise risk have certain duties they must fulfil to comply with their legal obligations these include: 

    • Assessing the risk to health and safety posed by the noise. The assessment should be reviewed regularly;
    • Eliminate the noise as far as practicable or reduce the employee’s interaction with noise;
    • Provide personal hearing protectors to any employee who is exposed to noise;
    • The employer should ensure as far as is practicable ensure the maintenance and use of the equipment;
    • If the risk assessment shows that any employees are at risk to ensure that they are placed under suitable health surveillance; and
    • Provide information, instruction, and training to the employees on how to protect themselves.


    How we can help

    The main problem with noise damage claims is proving fault, sometimes this is obvious, sometimes not, if a steelworker has hearing loss but is a heavy metal fan then what caused the damage? some people have more delicate hearing than others and would be more susceptible to hearing damage, there is no way the employer would know this and such there may be a fair defence open to them. Ultimately it would depend on whether appropriate protective equipment was given to you and if you could use it safely. Essentially the criteria for a claim depends on proving negligence. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.


    To quantify compensation our legal team will appoint consultants (either Health and Safety, Medical or both) to assess your situation, they are privately contracted by us (and therefore their cost would be classed as a disbursement). To quantify the potential claim in regard to mental trauma we would suggest an additional report from our psychological team.


    The claim will consider two types of damages:

    • General damages- this compensates the victim for the pain and suffering endured, and for the loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the negligent act.
    • Special damages- this compensates the victim for any personal costs incurred as a result of the negligent act. It can also cover any additional costs required in the future such as remedial surgery to remedy the mistake, mental suffering and so on.


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and medical consultant and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.  

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