Constant exposure to elevated noise levels can affect workers in many different ways.
You might experience high blood pressure and sleep interference, or you may find it hard to communicate with colleagues in the workplace, resulting in more accidents at work. A work environment with a high level of noise is also likely to lead to some degree of hearing loss. Any hearing loss linked to the conditions of a workplace is known as industrial deafness.
Sometimes the noise levels are such that you will suffer only a temporary loss of hearing. This will usually go away if you spend time in a quieter environment, but it should not be ignored; if the exposure continues over a long period of time, the hearing loss could become permanent. You should always treat temporary hearing loss as a warning sign and go to your doctor to discuss preventative measures that will stop the condition from worsening.
Am I suffering from a type of permanent industrial deafness?
Irreversible hearing loss takes two main forms:
- Persistent tinnitus - this is a condition whereby the sufferer experiences noises in the ears such as ringing, whistling, humming, and buzzing. In extreme cases this is permanent and can be very distressing, causing the sufferer disturbed sleep along with symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Noise induced deafness – this normally involves gradual loss of hearing over long periods of exposure, often many years. It is permanent and, coupled with the effects of the natural ageing process, can cause a significant disability.
Permanent hearing loss can also be caused by ‘acoustic trauma' or ‘acoustic shock'. Typically it's caused by a sudden, very loud noise, such as an explosion or gun shot. The noise can seriously harm unprotected ears.
Call centre workers are at particular risk of acoustic trauma, especially if the person on the other end of the line is shouting or if there is loud feedback in a malfunctioning headset.
How do I claim for industrial deafness?
If the noise in your workplace exceeds the legal exposure limits – a daily or weekly average of 80 dB – then, under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, your employer is obligated to minimise the impact on your hearing by providing suitable PPE in the form of ear hearing protection. Failure to do so could make them liable for any industrial deafness symptoms you may incur. This means that you may be entitled to claim compensation.
When you make a claim with Thompsons, we strive to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are passionate about gaining just outcomes for all workers who, like you, were the unfair victim of a workplace injury. By having an initial free phone discussion with one of our team, you will receive honest advice on your case that will help you get a clearer idea of what the process will involve and how much you can expect to claim – and all at no obligation.
Worried about making a claim? Don't be. Thompsons Solicitors offers a No Win No Fee Solicitors package for added reassurance that you won't tally up any unnecessary legal expenses. So, give us a call on 0800 0891331 and talk your claim through with a legal expert today.