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Occupational Deafness Claims

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Occupational deafness is defined as hearing loss caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises in the workplace. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 Act obliged employers to protect their employees from the harmful effects of high levels of noise. It is the moral and legal responsibility of employers to protect the health and safety of their workers in the workplace. If any workers become the victim of industrial /occupational deafness, then they are eligible to make a compensation claim against their employer.

If you have lost your hearing because of your employer’s negligence in the workplace, then make an industrial /occupational deafness claim. Contact us for free to discuss your case by dialing 08000 430 430, or complete our online enquiry form to request a call back.

Types of Industrial Deafness

Industrial deafness can be divided into three major areas based on its acuteness and severity.

1.      Temporary Loss of Hearing

A person working under constant loud sounds for a long period of time can suffer from temporary loss of hearing. The person becomes used to hearing loud sounds, so they can’t hear sounds of a quieter frequency. Quieter environment therapy can reduce the symptoms of temporary hearing loss.

2.      Permanent Loss of Hearing

Working under very loud noises constantly for a significantly longer period of time can cause permanent hearing loss if a worker is not provided with adequate protective equipment. Loud sounds can lead to deterioration in the ear cells and eardrum, which causes irreversible permanent hearing loss.

3.      Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a very common hearing problem which can be experienced by almost every worker who works under loud sounds. When a person is subjected to very sharp, loud noises, they may hear sounds like ringing, whistling or buzzing in one or both ears. Such sounds seem to be coming from an external source. The symptom of tinnitus can continue from a few minutes to many years.

Causes of Occupational Deafness

Occupational deafness is caused by constant exposure to loud sounds and vibrations for continuous periods of time. The noise safety threshold in workplaces is set at 80 decibels. A decibel is a way of measuring sound and describes the intensity or strength of the noise. Sounds above 80 decibels can cause hearing damage, and ear protection is required for people who work above the 80 decibel noise level.  The risk of occupational deafness is higher in specific industries and occupations.  Occupations with a high risk of occupational deafness are:

  • Construction works
  • Mining
  • Agriculture
  • Engineering
  • Music works
  • Call centers
  • Foundries
  • Manufacturing factories
  • Woodworking

Some of the different occupational instruments and activities which create loud sounds and dangerous vibrations include;

  • Grinders and cutters,
  • Concrete vibrators,
  • Generators,
  • Hammer mills and powder mills,
  • Blasting machines and tools,
  • Pneumatic exhausts,
  • Concrete mixing units,
  • Cranes, forklift trucks and other construction vehicles.

Symptoms of Occupational Deafness

Some of the symptoms seen in victim of occupational deafness are:

  • Difficulty concentrating on a single noise in noisy environments,
  • Difficulty taking part in group conversations,
  • Listening to TV  or radio stations at an excessive volume,
  • Hearing difficulty in one or both ears,
  • Experiencing constant whistling, buzzing and ringing in the ears,
  • Temporary or permanent hearing loss.

Diagnosis of Occupational Deafness

To completely diagnose occupational deafness, your GP should:

  • Discuss your present and past working history that involved with loud sounds.
  • Examine your ear internally and externally,
  • Carry out different tests, including audiometry, CT scans of the head, and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of the brain.

Treatment and Prevention of Occupational Deafness

To control your occupational deafness, you must consult an ear specialist soon after the diagnosis of your disease.  Complete treatment of deafness or hearing loss is extremely difficult to achieve. It is easier to prevent deafness than to treat it, so if you are diagnosed with industrial deafness at an earlier stage, you must discontinue any work related to loud sounds. To minimize the intensity of deafness, sound therapy or hearing aids can be used. It is not possible to cure tinnitus, but different methods can be used to handle the problem, such as de-tinnitising amplifiers.

Hearing loss is usually a permanent damage and cannot be reversed. The purpose of treatment is to help patients avoid further hearing loss, and to encourage the development of coping skills like lip reading. Occupational deafness can be prevented by the use of safety equipment – use protective ear plugs and earmuffs whenever they are required in the workplace.

Making Occupational Deafness Claim

Employers are responsible to provide personal protective equipment and proper training to their employees to prevent them from the harmful effects of loud sounds and workplace noises. If they fail to ensure health and safety in the workplace, then they are held responsible for hearing loss and should cover all the damages faced by any worker. If you are diagnosed with occupational deafness because of your employer’s negligence, then make your industrial disease compensation claim. Your employer is liable to cover all your physical, psychological and financial losses you have faced because of your hearing loss.

We at Clearwater Solicitors have dealt with a huge number of industrial disease cases, such as occupational deafness claims. If you are diagnosed with industrial /occupational deafness, then start your claim with our expert industrial disease solicitors.  Call us on 08000 430 430 to consult our free and fair services, or complete our online enquiry form so we may call you back.

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