Noise induced hearing loss claims are more common than many people realise. Loss of hearing due to exposure to noise can take several forms. Some people may find it difficult to hear because of a constant ringing in the ears. Others may suffer from partial or complete deafness, which may be temporary or permanent. From missing out on hearing a loved one’s voice to being unable to enjoy the melodious sounds in nature or your favorite musicians, noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) can lower your quality of life considerably.
If your hearing impairment was caused due to somebody else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a noise induced hearing loss claim for compensation. Although compensation will not restore your hearing, it can at least compensate you for the pain and suffering and help cover your medical expenses related to the hearing injury.
Who Is At Risk Of Noise Induced Hearing Loss?
Anyone who works in a noisy environment is at high risk of suffering from hearing issues. Also at high risk of noise induced hearing loss are those whose job involves operating loud machinery such as concrete breakers, compressors, grinders, drills, saws, pneumatic tools, and presses.
It’s not just high decibel sounds that affect hearing. High intensity, high frequency sounds such as those heard those through a telephone headset can also cause hearing loss. Call centre employees who have their headsets on for extended periods of time are particularly vulnerable to experiencing impaired hearing.
Other high-risk industries include:
- Road drilling;
- Quarrying and stone cutting;
- Car manufacturing;
- Metal plating.
It’s not just loud noises in the workplace that can damage your hearing. You could lose your hearing after exposure to a loud noise in places including shopping centres, supermarkets and restaurants, concerts, nightclubs airshows and more. If you suffer hearing loss due to negligence in any of these places then you could make a noise induced hearing loss claim for compensation.
Minimising The Risks Of Hearing Loss In The Workplace
Loud noise is common in all of the industries mentioned above and many others too. Unfortunately, noisy machinery is an integral part of many of these industries. There is no substitute for the high-powered equipment and heavy machines that produce these noises. While not much can currently be done to muffle those noises lower than they already are, employers can put measures in place to protect their workers’ hearing. If you have suffered deafness due to the industry you have been working in then you may like to refer to the following advice on industrial deafness claims.
Several laws have been introduced over the years to protect workers’ safety. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 covers all types of risks that workers are exposed to in various environments. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 covers all aspects of noise in the workplace. According to these regulations, employers have a duty of care to ensure that workers are protected from noise induced hearing loss due to excessive noise in the workplace.
The average legal limit for noise levels in the workplace is in the range of 80-85 decibels. Employers are required under the law to measure the level of noise in their environment and put measures in place if the levels are above the legal limit.
Some actions employers can take to minimise the risk of noise induced hearing loss at work include but are not limited to:
- Using quieter equipment where possible;
- Providing workers who work in noisy environments with personal protective equipment such as ear plugs or noise-cancelling headphones;
- Installing absorbent materials to dampen the sound where possible;
- Installing sound barriers to keep the loud noises out wherever possible;
- Devising work schedules or shorter work periods that allow workers to get sufficient breaks from the persistent noise.
If your employer fails to comply with the legal requirements and you suffer from hearing loss as a result, you may be able to pursue a noise induced hearing loss claim for compensation.
What You Will Need To Win A Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claim
For your noise induced hearing loss claim to be successful, you must be able to prove that:
Your hearing was damaged because of exposure to a particular noise source, whether it was at work or in a public space. You will need to submit a medical expert’s report confirming that you are suffering from impaired hearing.
If your hearing loss occurred due to your workplace, you will need to prove that your employer could have foreseen the risks and put protective measures in place but failed to do so. This will show that your employer was negligent in their duty of care and failed to safeguard your health and safety at work.
Always Get Legal Representation When Pursuing A Compensation Claim
Unless you are thoroughly conversant with personal injury law, it isn’t advisable to pursue any type of compensation claim by yourself. Personal injury solicitors are experts in this field and know exactly how to put together a noise induced hearing loss claim that will not just be successful but will also get you the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Moreover, you will get the benefit of their legal expertise without having to pay any money upfront.
If you have a strong case, most personal injury solicitors will fund your claim using a No Win No Fee agreement. They understand that many victims of negligence hesitate to pursue claims for compensation only because of financial constraints. Employing a No Win No Fee solicitor allows you to get the compensation you are entitled to without any up-front financial risk.
Our No Win No Fee agreement works exactly as it sounds. If we don’t win the case, you don’t pay any fee. If we win the case, you pay an agreed percentage of the compensation awarded to you. Not having to worry about fees and other legal formalities can be a huge relief, especially when you’re already grappling with your hearing impairment.
Noise induced hearing loss claims must be filed within 3 years of the injury, or from when the injury was diagnosed and linked to the cause. Instead of getting stressed trying to put your noise induced hearing loss claim together within the 3-year limit, you can focus on your other commitments knowing that your solicitor will be working hard to ensure that your claim gets filed well in time.